SARASOTA, Fla. - Everth Cabrera arrived in the Orioles clubhouse today around 9:50 a.m. with his Padres bat bag in one hand and a smile on his face. He was directed to his locker on the opposite side from where he stood.
Cabrera was placed between Jonathan Schoop and Rey Navarro in a row that also includes J.J. Hardy, Manny Machado and Adam Jones.
Steve Johnson said he’s going to throw a bullpen session today after playing long toss yesterday to test his bruised right middle finger.
The Orioles listed the following pitchers as throwing today, with hitters tracking in the box: Ubaldo Jimenez, Bud Norris, Chris Tillman, Miguel Gonzalez, Zach Britton, T.J. McFarland, Dylan Bundy, Darren O’Day, Tommy Hunter, Ryan Webb, Wei-Yin Chen, Brad Brach, Kevin Gausman and Mark Hendrickson.
Chris Davis said he received an exemption for the drug Vyvanse, not Adderall, confirming a report on FOXSports.com.
“It’s basically a more sophisticated version of Adderall and kind of the new thing with the way it’s introduced to the body,” Davis said. “I’m not really going to get into specifics because I don’t want to quote medical terms that I have no idea (about) and just show my ignorance. I like the way it works and I think it’s something that’s helped me away from baseball and hopefully it will continue to help me.”
Davis said he didn’t need to address the team again about his 25-game suspension for using Adderall without an exemption. He has one game remaining on it, which will exclude him from the opening day lineup on April 6.
“Obviously, not being able to come to the field last year, I did certain things to voice how I felt and apologize, but I think the biggest thing for me is to move forward,” he said before today’s first full-squad workout. “I think the quicker we put this thing behind us and focus on what we need to accomplish this year, the better we’re going to be.
“I’ve been looking forward to this day for a number of months now, for obvious reasons. I’m just excited to get out there and get back to what I know and put all this stuff behind me.
“I think having the game taken away from me, you learn how fragile it is and how important it is and really what a blessing it is coming here and doing what we do every day. I think I had kind of taken that for granted last year and obviously got away from the things that made me successful. It was a pretty quick reminder of how fragile it is and how privileged we are to be here every day and I won’t forget that.”
Davis’ last visit to Sarasota came during his suspension when he participated in instructional league games. He played until early October and later joined his teammates for the American League Championship Series, though he couldn’t do more than offer encouragement and his apology.
“Last time I was here, I was on timeout, so to speak,” he said. “Even when I came back and saw the guys, I couldn’t really participate and that’s a miserable feeling. I know a lot of that was self-inflicted and to be honest with you, I deserved every bit of it. But being back here and being back in the mix and knowing these guys are going to count on me and being able to actually make an impact, it means a lot to me.”
Davis is coming off a season that saw his average drop to .196 and his home run total to 26 before being hit with the suspension on Sept. 12.
“I think I kind of keep a chip on my shoulder,” he said. “My mindset is so much different this year. After you have a big year, you come in and you kind of question, ‘Do I need to change anything? Do I do everything the same? How do I outdo myself?’ and I think a lot of times you end up working against yourself and that’s kind of what happened last year.
“Obviously, with the (oblique) injury early on, I pushed a little too hard to get back and didn’t give myself enough time to heal, but with everything that’s gone on and the time I’ve had off, it just lit a fire underneath me and I definitely have a different mindset coming into this season. I almost feel more confident this year than I did last year, which is kind of ridiculous to say. It’s just a weird thing. I don’t know how to describe it.
“Just coming off the suspension, the injury, everything last year. I was confident after 2013, but it was kind of, ‘Where do we go from here? Do I keep everything exactly the same? Do I need to change it up?’ Coming into this season, it almost feels like I have something to prove again and that’s a good spot for me to be in.”
The .196 average is the biggest annoyance to Davis, who knows that he’s capable of much better.
“I always feel like if I’m swinging the bat well, I’m going to carry a good average and the home runs are going to be there, the RBIs are going to be there,” he said. “I think the thing that really killed me was early on obviously the oblique, but I was carrying a decent batting average and I actually had a good number of RBIs, but my home runs were down. It was cold. There were some balls you hit that didn’t leave and you kind of start second-guessing yourself.
“The worst thing I could have done was go out there and try to hit home runs and I did that, and you saw the effects of that on my average. There was no doubt that was extremely disappointing. I know I’m way better than a .196 hitter and hopefully I go back out there and prove it this year.”