Orioles manager Buck Showalter laid out the plan for Chris Davis, who will play first base and bat second Saturday night at Double-A Bowie in his first injury rehab game. He’s expected to go seven to nine innings.
“I don’t want him hitting leadoff and I don’t want him to have the problem of getting enough at-bats before he may or may not come out of the game,” Showalter said.
Showalter said Davis could serve as Bowie’s designated hitter on Sunday, but they will meet after Saturday’s game to discuss it.
You get the sense that Davis won’t play more than two games before the Orioles activate him from the disabled list.
Could he be activated on Sunday?
“Let’s see how we get through tomorrow,” Showalter said. “I would say, ‘Definitely no,’ if I didn’t think that was (a possibility). Let’s get one day. He had a really good day.
“There’s two parts to it. He’s got to come in here and feel good physically like he did today. He’ll go over there and take batting practice and play, hopefully, seven to nine innings and get four at-bats, hopefully, and then he and I will sit down when he gets back with Richie (Bancells).”
Davis’ return could mean less playing time for Steve Pearce, who’s batting .300 (10-for-33) with two doubles, three homers, six RBIs and five runs in nine games since starting at first base.
“Stevie’s made a real contribution like we thought he would if we could bring him back in the fold,” Showalter said. “Obviously, we’ve got to make room for Chris in the near future, so that will be another tough call.”
Here’s more from Showalter related to tonight’s 4-3 win over the Astros:
On Wei-Yin Chen: “I thought his breaking ball was a lot sharper. Made a couple mistakes with the changeup. Jerked a fastball across the strike zone on Chris Carter. He deserved to get the W tonight, so I’m glad we were able to push one across there.”
On Chen’s breaking stuff: “He’s throwing the curveball and the slider. Giving them a couple different looks. But it’s like we talk about all the time with left-handed starters, they’re going to see seven, eight, nine right-handed hitters. So you talk about left-handed starters, they’ve got to show the ability to get right-handed hitters out. Same way with the right-handed pitchers.”
On whether Chen is pitching as he did in 2012: “Yeah, it’s always there. It’s not like it’s something he never shows. He had a good spring. He’s had an extra day’s rest today. We’re getting ready to get in a stretch where guys are going to be taking the ball every fifth day, so didn’t want him to go much more than 100. Wei-Yin had a good look.”
On Nick Markakis: “Someone announced he had a 16-game hitting streak. I didn’t know that. I bet he doesn’t know, either. He’s healthy, strong. He worked real hard this offseason for the first time that he was able to in a long time. He had to order a whole bunch of new clothes because nothing fit in the right places, I’m told. I don’t spend a lot of time looking at it, but his wife told my wife, so that’s gospel. But Nicky hit some balls in that he’s staying inside of them and getting the barrel to them and pulling his hands inside.
“He’s hard to defense. We were talking about it against Tampa Bay in the dugout. As many tendencies and shifts and things going on, he’s the one guy if you play him out of position, he’s going to burn you. He’s a guy who’s really hard to defend because he moves the ball around the diamond.”
On Manny Machado, who hit his first home run: “That ball, when he first hit it, that was a pretty good pitch he hit, too. Scotty (Feldman) wouldn’t take that one back unless he knew where it was going. He got a hit-and-run another time and put it in play well.”
On Jonathan Schoop, who singled to break a seventh-inning tie: “We thought he’d bring solid defense while he figured the other part out, a lot like Manny. They’re two different players, though. We were hoping the lineup would allow us to sit him down at the bottom and ambush here and there, try to take some of the focus off of him. But when you look like Jon does, 6-3 and 230 and playing second base, it’s hard to sneak up on anybody.”
More Schoop: “The one thing you look for is a guy that doesn’t let one at-bat dictate the whole night. We’ve seen him have some challenging at-bats and then all of a sudden really whack one somewhere. It’s still in the infant stage of his career, hopefully.
“Jon’s pretty tough mentally. He’s got a real strong support group around him. He’s a guy that’s real easy to like and the guys feel real comfortable imparting advice for him, and he’s real receptive to it, and not to a fault. Sometime, you can take in too much. Jon smiles and doesn’t take himself too seriously, but he’s a competitive guy. He wants to do the right thing. That’s something that’s real admirable. He hasn’t let one at-bat affect him so far.”