SARASOTA, Fla. - Chris Davis took grounders at first base today on the Camden Yards replica field, fielding balls hit directly at him and later working on gloving them to his side and starting an imaginary double play. He hopped on a golf cart and rode to the main stadium field for rounds of batting practice, getting down in an exaggeratedly low crouch as his new stance before returning to the usual one - and flashing some of his old power with multiple balls clearing the left field fence.
In between was a brief stop to sign autographs for a couple of kids.
No detail would be ignored during the Orioles’ first full-squad workout beneath a scorching sun.
“I thought he looked great,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “Came to camp in great shape, took a nice BP out there in the stadium. The ball really came off his bat. Loved the way he came in.
“I talked to him quite a bit this offseason, so I knew that he had been working really hard in the gym and the weight room. He looked great today.”
Hyde went into a little more detail about their conversations.
“We talked about a lot of things,” he said. “At the end of the year last year, I know he’s talked about it, we all met and put together some goals in place for him this offseason. Things we felt like he needed to work on. He knew that he wanted to get stronger again and get his weight up a little bit, so he took care of that and did that and looks outstanding.”
Davis didn’t carry out every single option in the plan, but Hyde was satisfied with the work.
“There were a lot of things that we talked to him about,” Hyde said. “I talked with Chris a handful of times this offseason and check-ins. Our strength guys checked in with him also.
“We’ve talked about a lot more things besides baseball. I’m happy with how he’s come into camp. I think he looks fantastic. I liked his swing in BP today. So I think there are some things he worked on that he feels like he needed to make adjustments with. So far he’s done that.”
According to Hyde, Mancini was checked by a physician and began to feel better over the course of the day.
“Hoping tomorrow, but we’re letting this pass,” Hyde said. “We don’t want to take any chances right now. Same with Hunter Harvey.
“Whether both of those guys are out here tomorrow, I’m not sure,” Hyde said.
Today’s first full-squad workout included live batting practice thrown by John Means, Wade LeBlanc, Asher Wojciechowski, Richard Bleier, Cole Sulser, Evan Phillips, Eric Hanhold, Shawn Armstrong, Travis Lakins, Michael Rucker, Zac Lowther, Brandon Bailey, Dean Kremer, Keegan Akin and Alex Wells.
Richie Martin, competing for a utility job, worked out at second base and shortstop on the Camden Yards field and later took more ground balls on the Earl Weaver Little Field.
Former Orioles outfielder/first baseman Jeff Conine arrived in camp today as a guest instructor for a week. Brian Roberts, former second baseman and current MASN analyst, also is in uniform as an instructor.
The former teammates played catch to warm up.
The Orioles could play an intrasquad game in preparation for Saturday’s exhibition opener against the Braves in North Port.