Chris Davis hits another homer; Alex Wells hopes for a shot; Mountcastle, Hays impress - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Spring Training

Chris Davis hits another homer; Alex Wells hopes for a shot; Mountcastle, Hays impress

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

SARASOTA, Florida–What’s happening? – Rule 5 pick Brandon Bailey will start for the Orioles against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton on Friday.

Alex Wells, who has been slowed by an oblique muscle injury, said that he’s improving and that he’ll throw in the bullpen on Saturday. Wells, the Australian left-hander who turned 23 on Thursday, felt the oblique hurting early in camp. He’s in spring training on a minor league invitation.

“Very frustrating, especially being the first camp,” said Wells, who was 8-6 for Bowie last season. “I wanted to come in healthy, all guns blazing, ready to go, but a little setback. That’s all right. We’ll hopefully get back out there soon and ready to roll.”

What’s happened?—Ryan Mountcastle, who hit .312 for Norfolk in 2019 and is looking to make the step up, had three hits. Austin Hays had two doubles and played strong defense, and Chris Davis continued his hot hitting with two more hits in the Orioles’ 13-0 win over the Pirates on Thursday.

Mountcastle had two doubles and a homer. Davis hit his second opposite-field home run. He’s 4-for-5 (,800) with three walks in three games.

Martin Cervenka and Pat Valaika also homered.

Six pitchers threw a combined shutout. Tommy Milone, David Rucker and Ty Blach each pitched two innings. Mychal Givens pitched his first inning of the spring. Travis Lakins and Cole Sulser also pitched well.

“Everybody was hitting the ball hard,” Mountcastle said. “Everybody did their part at the plate and in the field. Our pitchers pitched really well, too.”

Mountcastle has been asking Davis for hitting advice.

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“I talked to him a little bit today just about what he was thinking, what I was thinking at the plate,” Mountcastle said. “He looks really good right now. He looks relaxed. He’s putting some barrels on balls for sure.”

Manager Brandon Hyde continues to like what he’s seen from Davis.

“He looks like he’s really locked in and ready to swing the bat, and that’s what we wanted to see,” Hyde said.

“It’s not his swing path that looks different. It’s the aggressiveness in the box, the presence in the box. You can tell in his takes. He’s in swing mode, and letting his vision of the ball and his strike zone awareness stop him on pitches outside the zone. But he’s ready to hit every pitch.”

Kohl Stewart, who hasn’t pitched because of a biceps injury, hopes to pitch his weekend.

“I’d much rather it be two days off and we’re good,” Stewart said. “I don’t have to take a whole bunch of time off or take a whole bunch of time ramping back up.

“It’s not like it’s a huge deal. It’s going to end up being seven or eight days in between what a start would have been, so that’s not a big deal. If I have some soreness like that that’s bothering me, if I could pick a situation and it only be two or three days down instead of it lingering and being an issue all year, probably a better situation.” 

What’s up with Malquin Canelo? One of many contenders for a backup infielder’s spot, the 24-year-old Canelo is primarily a shortstop. He signed with the Orioles last offseason after eight seasons in the Philadelphia Phillies organization.

“I signed with this team because I think there’s an opportunity for me to make the team, to be with the big league team, and to continue to develop my skills,” Canelo said through a translator.

The young Dominican, whose childhood hero was Derek Jeter, believes his defense is his strength.

“My defense really stands out,” Canelo said. “It’s one of those things that I try to improve every single day. I think that’s my calling card.”.

What’s what? Seeing Mountcastle play left field, Hays in center and Anthony Santander as the designated hitter gave Hyde a possible glimpse of the future.

“We had some youth out there,” Hyde said.

What’s the word? “I was telling some older guys and they were like, ‘Look, the worst thing you can do is pitch through that in spring training and then April 1 comes around and you’re really hurting and you’re down for however long.’”-Stewart on being cautious because of his injury.

What’s the number? 13. That’s how many Orioles had hits.

What’s the record? 3-4. The Orioles play the Pirates at LECOM Field in Bradenton at 1:05 p.m. on Friday.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    February 28, 2020 at 7:24 am

    I’m all in on Crush. I always said he’d be back. Bwaaahaaahahaaaa

    Seriously though … the 20+ pounds of added muscle seems to be working wonders. Obviously he’s been eating his Wheaties ‘eh?

    • CalsPals

      February 28, 2020 at 7:43 am

      Not sure he has seen a major league pitcher yet…go O’s…

  2. Orial

    February 28, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Chris Davis got up,looked in his medicine cabinet,paused, and said–” ahhh what the hell- what do I gotta lose”. Seriously though he’s been impressive and excited for Mountcastle. Gonna be hard to keep him down. Maybe starting LFer on opening day? Where did this name Malquin Danelo come from? Sure hope Mr. Mullins has something to say about a CF backup role.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      February 28, 2020 at 8:37 am

      I’m right there with you on Mullins….hoping anyway. No way does Mountcastle break camp with the team, no matter how much he deserves to. So far with this management team, “Deserves” has nothing to do with it.

      Just lose baby.

    • CalsPals

      February 28, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      Unfortunately gotta agree 100% w/Mountcastle situation, if someone would take his contract trade CD…go O’s..

  3. Bman

    February 28, 2020 at 8:51 am

    A nice glimpse of the future yesterday. Norfolk will be rockin this year. Os will have a few good prospects on the team to keep us intrigued until the second half call-ups. Hays and Mountcastle will be fun to watch but need another good draft class or two to keep the pipeline churning out prospects.

  4. NormOs

    February 28, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Wow! If “The K Man” keeps this up (Hitting against class A and AA pitching) he may want more money. I’m sure Elias gets all tingly inside everytime “Crush” gets on base.

  5. willmiranda

    February 28, 2020 at 10:33 am

    What’s up with Malquin Canelo? Sounds like a computer game.
    “Martin Cervenka and Pat Valaika also homered” puts things in perspective.

  6. Raymo

    February 29, 2020 at 12:16 am

    Is no else concerned that Mountcastle wants hitting tips from CD? I almost choked when I saw that.

    • CalsPals

      February 29, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      I think Rich had it backwards, CD was probably asking Mountcastle for pointers…lol…go O’s…

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