From the time a lumbar pressure sidelined Chris Davis close to the beginning of Orioles camp, the likelihood existed that the harm would drive Davis to start the yr on the injured listing. Now that’s trying increasingly possible.
O’s supervisor Brandon Hyde stated Monday the staff is contemplating opening the yr with Davis on the 60-day IL, delaying his 2021 debut till at the least the top of Might. Davis hasn’t performed since injuring his back throughout Baltimore’s spring opener Feb. 28.
“I believe it may very well be a chance,” Hyde stated earlier than Monday’s 6-5 loss to the Pirates at LECOM Park.
Hyde was gentle on further particulars, given the fluidity of the scenario. However with each passing day, the possibilities for Davis to ramp up into recreation form get slimmer. Davis has not spoken publicly in regards to the subject, and the Orioles haven’t offered an replace since Davis consulted a specialist in mid-March.
The scenario does present the O’s some roster flexibility given how they’d already dedicated to Davis, the 2013 and ’15 American League residence run champion, in a reserve function going ahead. He hit .115 and not using a homer in 16 video games final season and was sidelined for a lot of ’20 with a left knee subject. Davis is owed roughly $46 million by ’22, and has hit simply .185 with a .615 OPS for the reason that begin of ’17.
Two seasons in the past, Hyde famously put out 64 totally different lineups throughout his first 64 video games as supervisor, which spoke to the fluidity of the O’s roster. Issues are extra steady now. Hyde will nonetheless play matchups; he gained’t have a set lineup. However the high half of Monday’s lineup, at the least, supplied a window into what Hyde’s considering might seem like on most nights:
(The above iteration is extra possible in opposition to right-handed pitching, with Mullins hitting completely left-handed lately.)
For a lot of Grapefruit League play, Hyde had Mancini within the No. 2 gap and Santander batting third. Santander’s capacity to switch-hit gives flexibility, although over a full season, the tangible distinction might be negligible. Mullins is making the case to bat leadoff with a robust spring, hitting .286 with an .812 OPS. Mountcastle hit third or fourth each recreation down the stretch in 2020.
“I’m making an attempt to place the very best 4 hitters within the high 4 spots,” Hyde stated. “I’d just like the leadoff man to be an on-base man and the subsequent three to be our greatest three hitters.”
• John Means labored some in what needs to be his penultimate tuneup for Opening Day, permitting three runs in 3 2/3 innings, together with a 32-pitch first. Extra essential was that Means labored as much as 82 pitches; he’ll goal the 90- to 100-pitch vary in his closing spring begin with an eye toward Opening Day in opposition to the Purple Sox on April 1.
“He battled, and we received his pitch depend as much as the place we wished to get to it,” Hyde stated. “The way in which our rotation is now, it could positively be good for John to go deep in video games for us.”
• For pretty much as good as Mullins has been this spring, Austin Hays has been higher as he tries to edge out Mullins for reps in middle discipline. Hays collected two hits and performed proper discipline Monday, boosting his Grapefruit League common to .378 and OPS to 1.047. Solely Mountcastle has gotten as many at-bats as Mullins or Hays this spring. Nevertheless it shakes out, the superior protection of Mullins and Hays and Hays’ versatility foreshadow vital enjoying time for each come 2021.
“My primary objective was to have a wholesome camp and be capable to present all my instruments,” Hays stated. “It’s been nice for me to have the ability to try this to date.”
The Orioles return to the Mid Atlantic Sports activities Community airwaves Tuesday for the primary time this spring, after they host the Rays at Ed Smith Stadium. Proper-hander Cesar Valdez will make his first begin of the spring within the O’s scheduled bullpen recreation, with Trevor Richards opposing for Tampa Bay. First pitch is about for 1:05 p.m. ET.