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Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Chris Davis left out of starting lineup to work 'through some things'

Baltimore Orioles Roundup: Chris Davis left out of starting lineup to work 'through some things'

The Orioles fell to the Athletics 10-3 Wednesday night. Here's the latest news surrounding the team.

Player Notes: 

The Orioles left first baseman Chris Davis out of the starting lineup for the second straight game Wednesday. According to manager Brandon Hyde, Davis, who is in the midst of a historic drought at the plate, is "working through some things." He pinch hit for Renato Nunez in the bottom of the ninth Wednesday, but flew out to extend his hitless streak to 57 plate appearances.

Baltimore placed right-handed pitcher Alex Cobb back on the injured list Tuesday with a lumbar strain, but the team is hopeful he'll be ready to return by next Tuesday when the Orioles take on the Rays. 

On the other hand, left-hander Richard Bleier is being "reset," according to Hyde, and a trip to the IL is not out of the question. Bleier is dealing with a lat injury, the same muscle he tore last season that forced him to miss a significant part of the year. 

Baltimore optioned left-handed pitcher Jason Rogers to Triple-A Norfolk Wednesday. 

Injuries:

C Austin Wynns: Oblique, 10-Day IL

SP Alex Cobb: Back, 10-Day IL

SP Nate Karns: Arm, 10-Day IL

DH Mark Trumbo: Knee, 60-Day IL

RP Richard Bleier: Shoulder, Sidelined

Coming Up:

Thursday, 4/11: Oakland Athletics @ Orioles, 12:35 p.m. EST, Camden Yards, Baltimore, Md.

Friday, 4/12: Orioles @ Boston Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. EST, Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.

Saturday, 4/13: Orioles @ Boston Red Sox, 1:05 p.m. EST, Fenway Park, Boston, Mass.

Source: Rotoworld

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Everyone wishes they had the right answer for Chris Davis' struggles

Everyone wishes they had the right answer for Chris Davis' struggles

BALTIMORE - No one enjoys acknowledging it, but It’s impossible to miss the boos with every mention of Chris Davis’ name.

During the home opener Thursday, they were mostly drowned out by polite cheers during his Orange Carpet jog. Ditto for his first plate appearance.

Unfortunately, that PA ended in a strikeout, and the boos returned. His second and third at-bats ended in strikeouts as well, and by then, jeers replaced the cheers in full force.

By Davis’ fourth scheduled at-bat, he was replaced by Hanser Alberto as a pinch-hitter, and the ensuing ovation was equal parts deafening and gut-wrenching.

“I mean it’s not something I was really expecting, but it was tough,” a worn out Davis told reporters after the game. “At the same time, I heard it a lot last year, and rightfully so. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: I understand the frustration. Nobody’s more frustrated than I am.”

The numbers speak for themselves at this point. $161 million contract. Deferred money until 2037. 0-for-17 with 11 strikeouts. 1-for-his-last-54.

Everyone, including Davis and fans alike, has a right to be frustrated, as the slugger recognizes. But his teammates and coaches certainly aren’t giving up on him just yet.

“I’m not really concerned about it,” manager Brandon Hyde said in response to the fans’ visceral reaction towards Davis. “I’m going to support the guys on my club. It is what it is. I’m going to be positive with him.”

The rookie manager made a point to highlight some of the positives with Davis’ season.

“You see a guy giving great effort, and it’s just not happening right now,” Hyde continued. “We wanted to get him off to a good start, it’s not the start that he wanted. I’m going to continue to play him, I’m going to continue to support him. He’s battling, and he’s being a great teammate, and he’s not taking his offense to his defense.”

Those small positives won’t outweigh the .000 batting average and avalanche of strikeouts in the minds of fans, but they aren’t nothing, either. And Hyde isn’t the only one to see what Davis brings to the locker room.

“I don’t know how I’d be able to handle it, but he comes in and is a great teammate every single day,” Alex Cobb told members of the media. “I know he’s dealing with a lot with that, but he comes in and is a good teammate to everybody and a good friend to everybody. He knows that he’s got to work to get that back from the fans’ standpoint. But I enjoy being around him every day.”

The sentiment was echoed from team leader Trey Mancini in the form of a supportive pat as Davis walked by his locker after taking questions.

It’s not easy going through the struggles Davis is so publicly, and it clearly weighs on him. Having to hear about it every day takes a mental toll.

“It’s a little tougher, especially having to hear about it all the time,” Davis said when responding to yet another question about the strikeouts. “That was really my main goal going into spring training was to turn the page and focus on what lied ahead and try to forget about what had happened last year.

Davis did try to spin a positive view as well.

“It’s been tougher to start the season, but there’s a lot of baseball left to play,” said the Orioles first baseman. “I’d be foolish if I started wallowing in my own self pity and started feeling sorry for myself. I don’t think anyone‘s feeling sorry for me now. I think people are ready to see me turn it around, and I’m ready to turn it around.”

Cobb pointed out that while it’s no fun seeing a teammate go through what Davis is dealing with, he too understands where the fans are coming from, saying he “gets all sides of it.”

Still, the pitcher is quick to continue supporting his friend and teammate.

“Chris works really hard,” Cobb went on to say. “He’s a great guy. I mean, he really is. He’s one of the better teammates that I’ve had in my time in the big leagues. I know he cares so much. To feel that in front of your home fans, I mean I can’t even imagine. I do feel for him. I understand the fans’ frustration as well, but nobody’s got a better outlook.”

While it’s been a struggle for Davis, it’s obvious to the clubhouse that he isn’t letting it outwardly affect his personality. Some of that mental boost comes from the support he has within the organization.

“I know Brandon’s behind me, I know the whole coaching staff and my teammates are behind me,” Davis said. “At the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.”

Orioles fans might disagree as to what really matters, but Davis knows he’s the only one who can change the discussion.

The former All-Star may not have the answers he needs right now, but he’s certainly right about one thing. Everyone, himself included, is ready to see him turn it around.

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A free agent in 2018, what does Manny Machado's future look like?

A free agent in 2018, what does Manny Machado's future look like?

Manny Machado is arguably one of the best third basemen in the league.

At the tender age of 24, he has won two Gold Gloves and has been voted to three All-Star games. On average, he’s hitting 36 homers and 91 RBIs and is continuing to add to his resume. He hit a crucial home run Friday night against the Yankees and stole a base hit from Blue Jay's Devon Travis Opening Day on an insane catch. He will become a free agent in 2018 and is expected to make at least $300 million, but the third baseman told reporter's he's trying to live in the moment. 

“My future is to play baseball. If I don’t play baseball, I’m not going to do anything, so if I don’t go out there and produce today, I might not have an opportunity to get [a big contract],” Machado said. “So I don’t think that far along. I just try to stay in the moment and stay pitch by pitch. That’s why baseball’s a beauty, because if you start thinking ahead or you start thinking about this, that’s when you go into all these slumps.

Machado showed us last season that he is not just capable of playing third base, but can also cover shortstop. During the 2016 season, Machado played 45 games at shortstop while J.J. Hardy was out with a fractured left foot. This scenario could play out again as Hardy’s contract is up in 2017 and the O’s would have to pay him his $14 million option to keep him on the roster. Machado told FOX Sports that playing shortstop has been on his mind. 

“It’s always been there, I’m not going to lie. It’s always been there. . . I played a little bit there (last year). That was fun. I trained this year to play there just in case anything happened. I wasn’t ready last year to do it. It kind of took a toll on my body. But I came prepared this year for anything. It’s there. [But] I’ve made myself who I am playing third base. Everything I’ve done has been third base. I’ve won my Gold Gloves. I’ve done my thing over there, so why change? That’s the big question people always ask: ‘Why do you want to change when you’re the player who you are now?’ I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately.”

And there is no question that his fellow teammates understand the type of player they have on their team.

“You always wonder what it would feel like to play with one of the greatest of all time — say, a Ken Griffey Jr,” Orioles first baseman Chris Davis says. “I catch myself sometimes saying, ‘Am I in the same infield as one of the all-time great third basemen?'”

Davis went on to say,

“Some of the plays he makes, you can’t even practice ’em. Who practices catching groundballs in the dirt in foul territory and throwing guys out? He has raised the bar for our infield. And he has set the bar so high for himself, he’s expected to make those plays.”

Machado's diverse skill set could come in handy come 2018. Being able to play both positions will make him more marketable to other teams and gives him the opportunity to play whichever position he feels stronger at depending on his age. For Machado, playing his best baseball right now is what's important to him. 

“I don’t set expectations. I’d just like to stay healthy and leave it all on the field. That’s the only thing we can control at the end of the day. We put our hard work in in the offseason and during the year to do the things that we get paid to do so I just don’t expect anything.”

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