Davis takes BP, ready to rehab

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis took five rounds of outdoor batting practice today and said he felt great.

It showed, judging by how far he was launching baseballs and how he kept smiling each time he exited the cage.

Davis homered pretty much in every possible direction - left field, into the bullpen, center field, the flag court in right and onto Eutaw Street. Once he finished, he walked past two reporters with a smile on his face and said, "Still got it."

davisincage509.jpg"I felt really good the last three days," said Davis, on the disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle. "That's when we started doing a lot of stuff. I started doing stuff on my own in Minnesota, as far as running, and we talked about that. I felt really good, man.

"I said at the beginning I was surprised when I got the news on how bad it was, because I didn't feel that bad. I think that was kind of a positive at the beginning. But everything's gone about as good as it could have. Hopefully, go somewhere tomorrow and rehab and see how it goes from there."

Orioles manager Buck Showalter will check on Davis on Saturday morning before approving a rehab assignment. Double-A Bowie is home this weekend and could be a destination.

"In all honestly, if it was up to me, I wouldn't rehab at all," Davis said. "Stay here, hit BP, do everything like I was playing in a game and go straight into a game. But just for peace of mind, I think guys want to see how I react after a game, being on my feet that long, swinging after you've been standing around for a while. We'll see how it goes."

Davis is eligible to come off the disabled list Sunday. He initially didn't figure to come close to that date, considering the nature of his injury - pitcher Wei-Yin Chen missed two months last summer - but the Orioles believe that they caught it in time.

"I was really surprised yesterday in the cage, and obviously you can't see the flight of the ball in the cage, but I was really surprised how much better I felt, and it kind of made me wonder how long this has been going on, how long it's been there," Davis said.

"I don't know if you can tell that stuff by MRIs or anything like that. I'm not keen to that. But to be able to extend on a pitch away and really drive it the other way and not just flap it, to be able to turn on the ball in. I mean, these guys have been eating me up (pitching inside) the first month and it's frustrating knowing that I'm seeing a pitch there, knowing it's going to be there and not being able to get to it. So now I know the cause and so it's good to really let it eat and show that power again."

Davis, who's batting .250/.372/.382 with four doubles, two homers and 13 RBIs in 22 games, expects to play first base upon reporting to an affiliate. He's been taking ground balls, making throws and receiving them.

"Yeah, I think so," he said. "I haven't DHed yet this year. The way we've been using it, I don't see that I will too often, so there's really no point in me DHing down there.

"I want to see if I can range all the way, left and right, spin, make the throws, stretch on the bag. You've got to check everything."

Besides, once he returns to the active roster, he may find that Matt Wieters is getting the at-bats as the designated hitter. That spot is clogged at the moment.

"And he's hit about .400," Davis said.

"First base isn't a really high stress position as far as the amount of ground I have to cover. You can rotate (DH) between the outfielders, give guys the chance to kind of get their legs underneath them, so I'm not worried about that."

There don't appear to be any worries where Davis is concerned.

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