Hyde on Davis, Iglesias, Stewart, Eshelman and more

Now that Chris Davis has rejoined the Orioles after a two-game absence, he’s likely to make it back into the lineup Saturday night against Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow.

Davis is on the bench tonight and available to play. And the speculation that swirled while he stayed home can be grounded.

He didn’t test positive for COVID-19 or opt out.

“He feels good,” manager Brandon Hyde said on his daily Zoom conference call. “Been texting with him the last couple days, also. It just sounds like he was a little bit under the weather and for precautionary reasons and the world we’re living in right now, we wanted to do the responsible thing and make sure that we’re following protocol. But he feels really good today.”

Davis said he underwent testing about eight times in the past few days.

“I feel fine. I feel well rested,” he said during his Zoom call.

“We basically think it was just like a little sinus infection. But obviously, having to go through what we’ve had to on a day-to-day basis with the checkups, it raised some red flags. And I had to go through several tests and then kind of go through the protocol, and everything looks good. Everything came back negative and I feel fine.

“For me, being able to come back here and go back to work will give me peace of mind.”

Shortstop José Iglesias remains out of the lineup with a sore left quadriceps muscle and holds his day-to-day status.

“Kind of like I said yesterday, we don’t want to push anything right now,” Hyde said. “His quad’s still bothering him a little bit. I just checked in with him. He does feel a lot better today. He’s going to continue to get treatment. Could possibly be available off the bench in a pinch-hit spot. And we’re just going to continue to monitor him and check him every single day.

Stewart-K-Throws-BP-Orange-ST-sidebar.jpgHyde also told the media that the organization fully supported Kohl Stewart’s decision to opt out.

Having Type 1 diabetes puts Stewart more at risk, and the subject was broached again this week with the outbreaks in multiple camps.

“Kohl has some underlying conditions,” Hyde said. “We’ve had a lot of discussions the last few days. I’m going to keep those conversations private between me and him. I just wanted him to know that I’m going to support any decision he makes. I know the organization is also.”

With teams being shut down and games postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the timing of Stewart’s decision shouldn’t come as a surprise.

“There was more conversation about what’s going on,” Hyde said. “I think it’s mainly that he’s got some underlying conditions and that he’s had some concerns about this. He just got to the point, I think, where he wanted to talk a little more about it. So we’ve been discussing it the last few days and he decided this morning to opt out.”

“This is a personal decision and I was going to be fully supportive in whatever he decided to do.”

Stewart was the only pitcher signed by the Orioles to a major league deal in the offseason. He was supposed to start Tuesday night against the Marlins before the postponement and would have been a candidate for Sunday afternoon’s assignment.

“It is what it is right now,” Hyde said. “In my conversations with him, it’s about him, the person, right now for me. He made his decision today. I’m hoping that I get to see him pitch sometime down the road, but for right now this is the decision he made, that’s personal and I’m just going to support him on that.”

The former first-round draft pick will receive his salary and accrue service time.

Thomas Eshelman had his contract selected and replaced Stewart on the roster. He was on the taxi squad for the first series.

“I think he’s either a starter (or) long-man type, a guy who can give us some innings. That’s really important,” Hyde said.

“We built him up in summer camp, he’s been continuing to throw, we took him as a taxi squad member on the road trip and he’s going to be able to give us some length out of the bullpen. He also could slide into a starter role, a swing role, so we’ll see. But right now he’s going to be a long guy in the ‘pen.”

The depth on teams is sorely tested in 2020, more than it would be in a typical season. Fewer games can’t reduce the stress on rosters.

“I think that’s a concern of everybody,” Hyde said. “The rosters are supposedly going down to 28 here pretty soon, and then to 26, so that’s a big concern with starters not built up the way they normally would. All the things that are going on, I think that’s everybody’s concern league-wide is depth, and guys like Tom Eshelman and the guys we have in summer camp, I think they’re going to play a big part and I feel comfortable with a lot of the guys we have down there.

“That’s going to be real helpful as we go through these next 50-plus games.”

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