Davis not available for Orioles' home opener; Iglesias misses fans; Rodriguez added to player pool - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Davis not available for Orioles’ home opener; Iglesias misses fans; Rodriguez added to player pool

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

As the Orioles prepared for their home opener Wednesday night, they found out they would be without first baseman Chris Davis. Manager Brandon Hyde declined to elaborate on Davis’ absence, saying he was “not here today. He’s unavailable, not in the lineup.”

Davis, who’s the Orioles’ player representative, had said Tuesday that he would wear a mask when he played first base for additional protection from Covid-19. No adjustment was made to the Orioles’ roster.

The Orioles were scheduled to play the New York Yankees on March 26th at Camden Yards before the coronavirus pandemic put baseball on hold for four months. This past Monday, it was revealed that there had been a Covid-19 outbreak on the Miami Marlins, who were supposed play at Camden Yards Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, it was reported that as many as 17 in the Marlins’ traveling party had tested positive.

Major League Baseball has put the Marlins’ season on hold at least through Sunday. It also decided that the Yankees wouldn’t play the Phillies, the Marlins’ opponent last weekend, but instead would come to Baltimore for the Orioles’ home opener.

It will be an opener without fans because of the virus. And precautions will be strictly adhered to because of the Marlins’ situation.

“We’re way more spread out, everybody’s got masks on,” Hyde said in a video conference call of the clubhouse. “It’s a huge loss not having fans. It is different during the games.

“I felt like in Boston, it was fairly normal when the game started, and they have crowd noise, so it’s not just super quiet … Off the field, there’s no energy. You have to bring energy yourself. You have to create the energy in your dugout at a distance. Having no fans is something none of us are used to.”

Health concerns are taking up much of Hyde’s time and thoughts.

“I just think it’s natural that people have concerns, people have questions,” Hyde said. “We’re not any different. We have concerns. We have questions. It’s just part of this season … We’re handling it as well as we possibly can right now, and it’s just the way it is for this season.”

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Even without fans, Hyde is happy to be playing at home after starting the season in Boston.

“I think the comfort of being home and the home routine is always nice,” he said. “Going on the road, you’re sleeping in a different bed. It might not be as comfortable being in the visiting clubhouse. Without a crowd, there’s no home field advantage out on the field.

“The one thing is as individual players, some guys feed off crowds … A closer or somebody that likes to be in a big spot. It’s helpful to have crowds. I think some other guys might be more comfortable in that situation … I don’t know if it’s going to help one time or another in our situation.”

Hyde misses Oriole fans.

“Unfortunately, besides mail, I haven’t had any interaction with Baltimore fans,” Hyde said. “I leave where I live, and I come right to the ballpark and go right back. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to talk with any fans around town.”

The Orioles haven’t played since Sunday when they won their second straight against the Red Sox in Fenway Park to start the season 2-1.

“We’re ready to play,” Hyde said. “The last couple of days have been definitely strange.”

Iglesias not at home in Miami: Shortstop José Iglesias, who lives in Miami, was especially aware of the situation involving the Marlins.

“It was definitely a decision for me,” Iglesias said. “because I couldn’t go home. I have to stay at the hotel, but definitely Miami is a hot spot right now. But I think everybody on our team did a good job staying out of it and protecting themselves.

“It’s a very frustrating situation for all of us. We have the mentality to play the game and, unfortunately, this situation … Health is very important, and we understand that as a group. We’re just doing what we can to stay healthy and follow the safety protocol each day.”

Iglesias is trying to adjust to games without fans.

“It’s very difficult,” Iglesias said. “I’m not going to lie to you. It’s going to take extra focus. You’ve got to show your love for the game. That’s what I tell these guys each and every day, and I said it at a meeting the other day, it’s going to take all of us.

“I don’t feel good every day. They don’t feel good every day. We have to push each other up and keep the energy up. It’s very difficult, but we have to unite and support one another through these tough times.”

Additions and subtractions: The Orioles added right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez, the team’s first draft choice in 2018, to the Bowie alternate site. The player pool is at 56.

Right-hander Hector Velázquez, who was removed from the player pool on Friday, was traded to the Houston Astros for a player to be named later.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Phil770

    July 29, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Rich, given the circumstances of the COVID times, the O’s/Hyde need to do a better job of communicating the situation with players than this. Davis saying all of the right words, want to play…yada, yada, yada. Then for the home opener, we get a BS response to a legitimate question? CD may have tested positive (as was the case with Smith and Santander when they were no shows) or he is reconsidering his commitment to play and is contemplating opting-out or something of a personal nature came up unexpectedly, or something more credible than “he is not here…” That is just not right. Is he like … missing and we have to wait 72 hours before the police will look for him? AWOL, excused?

    • Rich Dubroff

      July 29, 2020 at 6:33 pm

      Phil, due to medical privacy, the Orioles aren’t elaborating. If the players give their go-ahead, teams can announce they have Covid. We don’t know if that’s the case or not. We spoke to him at length last night, and didn’t sound as if he was opting out. We don’t know the Davis situation.

      • Phil770

        July 29, 2020 at 7:22 pm

        Rich, your response actually validates my particular point. You can’t say “he is not here”; say “something personal came up unexpectedly, we’ll know more later.” We are just in much in the dark, but it at least demonstrates respect for us as fans. “He is not here” is just not acceptable.

    • Eastern Sho Joe

      July 29, 2020 at 9:42 pm

      Mr. Phil: Is it possible that you’re expecting too much from people who are facing situations that no one knows how to handle? This is new to everyone. For me, I think patience and understanding is the only way that we’ll have any chance of enjoying baseball this year.

      • Phil770

        July 29, 2020 at 10:39 pm

        Anything is possible, but it is not too much to expect to communicate with empathy and support. “He”s not here” is not an appopriate status. I offered a couple of equally non descriptive, but less condescending explanations.

  2. Birdman

    July 29, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    For his sake, and the sake of his teammates, hope Davis hasn’t been infected with the virus. As previously noted, Davis could be seen during Sunday’s game in the dugout, without a mask, and talking to a teammate no more than one foot away – in disregard of the protocols established by MLB, as well as common sense.

    • Phil770

      July 29, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      Of course, we hope for the best for Chris Davis, regardless of the cause of missing tonight’s game. My being miffed has to do with a disingenuous message from the O’s delivered by Hyde. Just not acceptable for the public to be dealt a “let them eat cake response”. Quite honestly, we deserve better, which could have been done responsibly and respectfully. The O’s did neither.

  3. CalsPals

    July 29, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Catchers interference TWICE in the first 4 batters, lead off HR, gonna be a long night… go O’s…

  4. Boog Robinson Robinson

    July 29, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    No Davis. So where is Mountcastle? Oh that’s right, he’s busy shagging practice flies in Bowie’s left field. And Smith Jr is DH’ing while Nunez is playing a gold glove caliber 1st base? C’mon guys!!

    Who the heck is setting this lineup?

    Where the heck is Sisco’s left handed bat? Even if you don’t want him catching, couldn’t he play 1st or DH?

    I’m starting to think Brandon Hyde is in on the tank job. This 66 percent winning % must be making somebody nervous.

    • CalsPals

      July 30, 2020 at 7:40 am

      Totally agree, they know why CD isn’t playing, I don’t care, let’s put in a DH who hasn’t had an at bat in months…go O’s…

  5. Phil770

    July 30, 2020 at 9:25 am

    Hyde and Elias are counting on your not caring. Call them out for their plausible, yet BS response to RM not “being here” , not even pretending that anybody will care where CD is, yeah.. sounds about right

    • Bhoffman1

      July 30, 2020 at 9:50 am

      I’m not impressed with Hyde at all but probably he is managing because no one with experience would be a yes man for Elias. RM should have been on first base last night . The excuse that he’s to aggressive at the plate and doesn’t walk enough hell Adam Jones has a decent career here and never walked. Mason Williams should be on this team he’s a better player all around then DJ, Smith and Mullins. The young pitchers should be starting I’m sick and tired of watching cast offs and non major league starters. This season should be looked at as a elongated spring trading. The young talent should be pitching not sitting on their asses in Bowie

  6. Bhoffman1

    July 30, 2020 at 9:54 am

    Plus unless he is injured why didn’t Sisco play last night. Severino is a back up catcher that’s what he is and what he will always be. AR could be playing now too. Giving someone experience on this level will not hurt his progress it will just speed it up. Again what do we have to lose. It’s not like this season really matters.

  7. Phil770

    July 30, 2020 at 10:12 am

    The contributors on this site are way higher on Sisco than I have been. Sadly, his defense is not as good as Sererino’s, and his bat has been inconsistent at best.

    • CalsPals

      July 30, 2020 at 10:33 am

      Two errors at catcher in the first four batters, I’d be fine with Sisco…go O’s…

    • Bhoffman1

      July 30, 2020 at 11:13 am

      His bat has to have a chance my friend this season he has a high on base percentage because he walks a lot and this season or whatever you call his crucial for his career if he his to stay here when Adley comes up

    • Bhoffman1

      July 30, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Sorry for the typos

  8. dlgruber1

    July 30, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    I actually thought Wojo threw the ball well last night. The Judge HR is a fly ball out in just about every other ballpark in baseball. The only bad pitch I thought he threw was the HR Hicks hit. Even the leadoff HR to LeMahieu was just a great piece of hitting by a very good hitter.

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