Showalter on Davis’ absence and Mancini’s slump (O’s up 9-4)

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hasn’t played since June 11 and with the Orioles off Monday, he won’t get back into the lineup before Tuesday night’s series opener against the Nationals in D.C.

Davis is batting .150/.227/.227 with four doubles, four home runs, 15 RBIs, 19 walks and 86 strikeouts in 229 plate appearances. He’s been working with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson during early sessions in the cage.

Showalter-Black-Jacket-Sidebar.jpg“I was talking to Scott and Brady about that yesterday,” Showalter said. “That hasn’t been decided, but we’re moving toward him kind of rejoining the lineup. Like I said before, when they and we think it’s time ...

“It’s funny because we’re facing Gio Gonzalez the second day and (Max) Scherzer the third day and I think they’re still undecided for the first day unless they’ve come across with something. But in baseball you’re facing, everybody’s pitcher would be the No. 1 starter in Triple-A. So, it’s more about when they and he and we feel like it’s time. But Tuesday, I wouldn’t commit to that, but I hope it is. I hope it is.

“We’d love to get a productive Chris back. That’s for sure.”

Davis is 8-for-80 in his last 22 games, but he isn’t riding the slump train alone. Trey Mancini, for instance, moves up to sixth in the lineup with catcher Chance Sisco scratched but his average is down to .223 with a .297 on-base percentage and .359 slugging percentage in 67 games. He’s 9-for-49 with 21 strikeouts this month after batting .192/.280/.317 in May.

Mancini is visibly down lately and Showalter made it a point to speak with him yesterday.

“It’s because he knows that he wants to help the team more than he has,” Showalter said.

Players like Mancini aren’t used to prolonged failure. They’ve been good at every level.

“For the most part, it’s been as a whole, as a group,” Showalter said. “I don’t want to look like you’re trying to be too positive, but there is a certain positive down the road out of it, but I want it to end. We don’t want to say that’s ... I, they, our fans don’t want to hear about some positives out of that, but it’s a humbling game and it’s played at such a high talent level with the pitching especially, it’s just tough to experiment. And it’s hard not to get into an instant gratification thing.

“One at-bat they can work on all these things, which they do daily, the film and everything, and then all of a sudden a guy makes three really tough pitches on them and all of a sudden there’s something wrong in their approach. ‘OK, now what do I fix, now where do I go next?’ You’ve got to stick with the process and you’ve got to stick with the approach.

“That’s one of the challenges that Chris is facing is something that he knows will work and has work and then staying with it when you don’t get an instant return because Scherzer makes 10 or 12 really nasty pitches on you. You think, ‘Oh, I’ve got to do something else.’ But you also don’t say, ‘Well, it’s just the pitcher is better today.’ After a while that kind of rings hollow. You’ve got to beat those guys, too, and we have.

“Sometimes, when you come up and you’re the little engine that could and you’re the, ‘Well, who’s this Mancini guy?’ And you come in guns blazing. You’re not sneaking up on anybody. They know what Trey’s capable of. And we talked about this some yesterday that you want to be selective and if you make an out, make sure you’re not getting yourself out. It’s so hard to equate a walk with a step in the right direction for them. It doesn’t show up in the, now I’m hitting .260 instead of .240 after an at-bat. If I walk three time and ground out ...

“They look at the board. They don’t like looking up at the board and seeing so many guys that start with a 1.”

Mancini isn’t there yet, but he’s fighting to stay above water.

“Think about the, I don’t know about ego or pride level of when you’ve kind of been the leading hitter on just about any team you played on and all of a sudden you’re looking at something different up here,” Showalter said. “And misery does not like company.”

Showalter hinted that roster moves could be coming, saying that he needed to talk to a couple of players following the game. He also said outfielder Colby Rasmus should be an option for the Orioles “shortly,” with the outfielder’s rehab assignment ending on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Orioles are 31 games below .500 and losers of nine consecutive games and 16 of 18.

The next off-day on Monday doesn’t provide more time for the Orioles to dwell on their situation. As if they need to reflect or put the season in its proper context.

“We’re very aware,” Showalter said.

“It’s not like whistling in a graveyard. You’re not oblivious to it, you never get comfortable with it. Believe me, there’s some real not privy to the public eye frustrations. You’re trying to be consistent and treat people the way you’d like to be treated, but you’re also trying to convey that this isn’t acceptable. You never want to get accepting of this, so I think that’s abundantly clear and has been made clear, and mostly as much by them as by us as a coaching staff.”

Update: Mark Trumbo led off the second inning with a single, Jonathan Schoop doubled and both runners scored on Jace Peterson’s one-out automatic double to right-center field. Orioles 2, Marlins 0

Update II: Trumbo had an RBI double in the third inning and scored on Mancini’s single to give the Orioles a 4-0 lead. Mancini is 5-for-51 with runners in scoring position.

Justin Bour homered in the fourth to reduce the lead to 4-1.

Update III: Peterson has tied his career high with four RBIs and the Orioles lead 8-1 in the sixth. He hit a two-run homer in the fifth to pad the lead.

Adam Jones delivered a two-run double in the fourth.

Update IV: Bour’s three-run homer in the sixth reduced the lead to 8-4.

Update V: Trumbo homered to lead off the seventh and give the Orioles a 9-4 lead. He’s a triple shy of the cycle.

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