Does Davis stay on the bench today?

Orioles manager Buck Showalter waited until about an hour before first pitch yesterday to reveal his lineup. The right decision was made regarding Chris Davis.

Whether it came from Davis or Showalter.

Davis needed to sit again no matter his track record against Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez. The .348 career average in 23 at-bats was meaningless. The only reason to pause was Sanchez’s difficulties versus left-handed hitters, who posted a .304 average against him.

Davis isn’t the same hitter.

He owned a career .292/.389/.627 slash line with 18 home runs in 57 starts at Rogers Center - but he isn’t the same hitter.

Davis Orange SIdebar.jpgShowalter has kept Davis on the bench for back-to-back games, as he did at the end of April. Davis was batting .167 during the first attempt to hit the reset button. His average is down to .152 today.

Keep pressing the button.

There’s no other option if he can’t be optioned. Releasing him and devouring more than four years of the largest contract in franchise history still doesn’t appear to be a consideration. Showalter must limit Davis’ starts and keep him out of the middle part of the order.

To borrow one of Showalter’s favorite phrases: You want to play more? Play better. Davis can read his own stat line and has to understand.

Pedro Álvarez started at first base and went 0-for-3 to leave his average at .190. Trey Mancini was in left field and lowered to eighth. He’s batting .228.

Jace Peterson started in right field because this roster doesn’t include a left-handed hitting outfielder. He’s batting .181 with a .561 OPS.

Davis wears the biggest bull’s-eye because he owns the largest contract, but this club is littered with unproductive hitters.

Danny Valencia is supposed to be starting against left-handers, but he’s become a regular presence in the lineup because of his .286 average and .348 on-base percentage.

I’m still a proponent of selecting Cedric Mullins’ contract later this summer and plugging him into right field - or center if Adam Jones is traded. However, Mullins was 2-for-24 since his promotion to Triple-A Norfolk before going 2-for-4 yesterday with his first home run.

Should the kid achieve success in the International League before he’s tossed into the deepest end of the pool? That’s how it normally would work, but the Orioles might decide that they have nothing else to lose by including him in a roster overhaul - or their version of it.

Alex Cobb is coming off his best start with the Orioles, holding the Mets to one run and two hits striking out seven batters in six innings in a 2-1 win. His ERA in his last two starts has dropped from 7.32 to 6.19.

Cobb is 3-3 with a 3.23 ERA and 1.056 WHIP in eight career starts against the Blue Jays in 47 1/3 innings. He’s made three starts at Rogers Centre and allowed eight runs in 18 innings.

Former Oriole Steve Pearce is 4-for-12 with a double against Cobb. Kendrys Morales is 4-for-18.

Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada is 2-6 with a 5.29 ERA and 1.423 WHIP in 12 starts this season. He’s averaging 10.4 hits per nine innings.

Estrada faced the Orioles on April 11 and allowed four runs and six hits with three walks in four innings in a 5-3 loss. He’s 7-2 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.165 WHIP in 16 career games (14) starts against the Orioles over 85 innings.

Davis is 6-for-32 (.188) with three home runs and 11 strikeouts against Estrada. His status for today is going to bring the most interest.

Manny Machado is 6-for-31 (.194) with two doubles, one home run and 10 walks. Álvarez is 5-for-27 (.185) with one double, one home run and 10 strikeouts. Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo both have two doubles and two home runs, but they’re batting .235 and .241 respectively.

Right-handers are hitting .308 against Estrada this year and left-handers are hitting .270.

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