Davis expects to start at first while Orioles seek another bat (with notes)

The last words spoken by Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette during yesterday’s conference call with reporters alluded to his continued efforts to bolster the lineup.

“I can tell you that we’ll keep looking for a capable bat to add to our ballclub,” Duquette said.

That bat is supposed to fit at first base or as the designated hitter. Duquette has indicated that the Orioles are well-stocked with outfielders and second basemen. They’re set at third base with Manny Machado, at shortstop with J.J. Hardy and behind the plate with Matt Wieters.

Duquette has been trying to swing a deal. In the meantime, Chris Davis fully expects to be the starting first baseman on opening day 2013.

During a phone interview yesterday on “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report” on MASN, Davis said manager Buck Showalter told him a few weeks ago that he would be the regular first baseman.

Showalter didn’t go quite that far at the Winter Meetings, when he relayed parts of his conversation with Davis to reporters.

davis-c-sidebar-bat-white.jpg“I told him he was going to get an opportunity potentially,” Showalter said, grinning. “I talked to Chris. I told him one of the reasons why ... we’re waiting to see what happens with Mark (Reynolds), too. We’re still hopeful we can bring Mark back and make up for our club. But I told him that one of the reasons I got my knees done was to work with him some.

“I think Chris is capable of being an above-average defender at a lot of places. He’s very athletic for a big, strong guy. And I think the big thing is he wants to be a good defender. He doesn’t want to be in the DH spot unless that’s the way it best dictates our lineup that night. So he’s got a lot of want-to with the defensive part of it and not the pitching part.”

As we fast-forward to this morning, we know that the Orioles made no effort to retain Reynolds, who signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Indians. Davis is the leading in-house candidate to replace Reynolds at first. Whether he’s been promised the job is open to interpretation.

Davis batted .312/.336/.500 with eight doubles, six homers and 16 RBIs in 38 games as the first baseman this year. He hit .260/.333/.485 with seven doubles, 15 homers and 39 RBIs in 60 games as the DH. He also was 0-for-1 as a pitcher, in case you were wondering.

I don’t think it’s set in stone that Davis is playing across the diamond from Machado on opening day, but it becomes more probable as each day passes. I mean, somebody has to do it.

Shameless plug alert: I’m appearing on today’s edition of “The Mid-Atlantic Sports Report” from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on MASN.

Notes: Duquette will be the featured speaker at the 12th annual Shorebirds Hot Stove Banquet on Jan. 26 at the Delmar VFW.

The banquet will begin at 5 p.m. and run until approximately 8 p.m.

Admission is $33 per individual. The Shorebirds are offering groups and companies an opportunity to purchase a private table of eight for the discounted rate of $225.

For more information and to purchase tickets, contact Shawn Schoolcraft at 410-219-3112.

Try the slippery dumplings. They’re life-changing.

Also, the Orioles are releasing a DVD of the 2012 season. Here’s more information, as provided by the club:

The Orioles’ magical 2012 season will be remembered for years to come. Now, fans will have the opportunity to relive those exciting moments. Just in time for the holidays, the club has announced plans to release “The BUCKle Up Birds: An Underdog Story” in mid-January 2013, a season highlight DVD that chronicles the most important and thrilling moments of 2012, from offseason moves through the MLB playoffs.

The DVD, which is being produced in house by the award-winning Orioles Productions, will include both in-game footage and off-field interviews of key moments throughout the year, from dramatic wins to each of the six Orioles Legends Celebration Series unveilings. Additional bonus content includes footage from the Orioles’ postgame Wild Card celebration.

The expected ship date for “The BUCKle Up Birds” is mid-January, but fans may pre-order the DVD now at www.orioles.com/buckleup for $25, including shipping and handling. The DVD will also be shown and made available for purchase at Orioles FanFest on Jan. 19, 2013 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

A 60-second trailer for the upcoming release can be seen now at www.orioles.com/buckleup. Fans are encouraged to tweet their review of the coming attraction by using the hashtag #BUCKleUp.

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