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Showalter happy Orioles made investment in O'Day, Davis

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Showalter happy Orioles made investment in O'Day, Davis

SARASOTA, Fla. – Buck Showalter is comforted by having Chris Davis, Darren O’Day and Matt Wieters back. It’s their veteran leadership he admires.

“When you talk about people like that, it goes so far beyond his statistics and the contributions Darren makes. He’s got such a pure heart. He loves being a part of our team, and let’s face it, we’re down here to build a team, and Darren’s a part of that. He helps us build it by ways other than pitching, and that’s been pretty good,” O’Day said.

“I know he impacts this team and he makes other people better, and it’s not any egotistical thing. Darren’s the same guy who walked in here that day from Texas. You all know that. He doesn’t change, but he also understands the weight his words carry, and he doesn’t get malicious about it. He’s not coming here and saying: ‘now that I’ve got this x contract, I’ve got to do this more.’”

O’Day joined the Orioles in Nov. 2011 just before Dan Duquette took over. Showalter insisted the team take him.

RELATED: Duquette says Orioles are still trying to get a starter

“I think he has a lot of confidence in us, and we do in him. He’s going to have his moments, but he’s going to fight his through it. He sets a great example every day. This is how you get that type of commitment from us if you carry yourself like this. I haven’t seen any signs of him trying to do something different more, and that’s what I’ve told him, I just want you to carry on, carry on,” Showalter said.

Will Showalter give the same talk to Davis?

“I already have. Nobody can really, in some people’s eyes, live up to that commitment. Who can? I mean, statistically, somebody’s going to tear it down any way you look at it. We’re on him. We know what we’re getting, and we like it, and we’re glad it’s here. Chris already knows that. He knows that, but Chris is a pleaser,” Showalter said.

“He wants to do something good for the Orioles and the fans every time up and every play. It won’t work that way. That’s when the support group and the people around him come into play that keep a good grip on reality. There’s a lot of people who put a lot of expectations that’s unreachable. You just can’t. What you take what he did last year for the next seven? Of course you would.”

Showalter is aware of criticism that the Orioles overpaid for Davis, but tries to ignore it.

“I love how all these people start critiquing this and that, whatever. That’s fine. I’m happy with it. We’re happy with it, and Chris is happy with it, and I know his teammates are happy with it. So he and Darren and Matt, it continues to show the commitment of the organization to trying to retain those guys. It wasn’t that I doubted it. It’s always good to be able to say, the commitment he made here, long-term to see these other people return,” Showalter said.

MORE ORIOLES: O'Day hopes the mustache helped lure Davis back

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.

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