Buck Showalter on Chris Davis (Steve Johnson traded)

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is back in a down cycle with the bat. He is 2-for-21 his last six games with nine strikeouts as his average has dropped from .224 to .215. He is 1-for-7 in this series.

I asked manager Buck Showalter this morning if he wishes Davis would become more aggressive at the plate and take fewer pitches?

"Of course," he said. "I'm sure people see something in a game and they wonder about those things. If they saw all the work and conversations and things that Scott (Coolbaugh, hitting coach) and everybody does. It is something that people talk about and rightfully so.

"You always encourage him and you start swinging at pitches that are not strikes. We are all trying to find that line between being selective and aggressive. He's kind of in-between right now. When he is aggressive it's a ball and when he's selective it's a strike."

Davis-Dejected-Crouch-White-Sidebar.jpgA hitter that draws a lot of walks, Davis can work to be selective in some at-bats, not get the call he expects and then find himself in bad hitter's counts.

"What drives walk totals at his level is the power potential. You see a guy that obviously strikes out as much as Chris but you also see walks. Some people said why walk that? Guys are very respectful of his power and they've been able to get the ball where they need to get it. Every hitter has a weakness. When pitchers get the ball there, it's tough," Showalter added.

The Orioles did add a bat back to their lineup today. Mark Trumbo was activated off the disabled list and lefty reliever Donnie Hart was optioned back to Triple-A Norfolk. This provides Showalter a four-man bench again and the roster now holds 12 pitches and 13 position players.

Trumbo last played July 29. He has been on the 10-day DL with a right rib cage strain. Showalter said is was tough to have send Hart back to Norfolk.

"They (roster moves) all are. We are what, two and half, three weeks from September. If not him, then who? We are waiting on Ryan (Flaherty also). I was talking to (Bowie manager) Gary Kendall and Bordy (Mike Bordick). He goes down and works with our guys when he is not traveling with us. Ryan has one more hurdle to get over. Swinging the bat really well down there. Really one little thing he's got to get over there. I'm hoping it's Seattle (when he rejoins the team).

"Hart pitched real well for us last year and has at times this year. The one thing I've liked is when we have sent him down he's done well and given us every reason to bring him back. That is one of the things I challenged him with today. I don't need to challenge him. He knows. Donnie is a real tough evaluator of himself. He pitched well last night."

Hart is 1-0 with an ERA of 3.12 over 39 games. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning in last night's 3-2 loss.

Johnson traded: The Orioles have traded right-handed pitcher Steve Johnson to the Chicago White Sox for cash considerations.

Johnson was 1-2 with a 5.30 ERA in 19 games (five starts) for Triple-A Norfolk. Over 37 1/3 innings he walked 14 and struck out 39. Johnson will report to Chicago's Triple-A Charlotte team.

Johnson had not pitched for Norfolk since July 9 and has been on the Tides' DL since July 14 with what was listed as a left ankle injury.

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