Notes on Davis, upcoming starters, Valdez and more

Chris Davis is day-to-day with a lower back strain, explaining his absence in today’s lineup against the Yankees.

Apparently, it’s health-related rather than the Orioles facing left-hander Jordan Montgomery.

Manager Brandon Hyde said Davis sustained the injury during his last at-bat in Sunday’s exhibition opener against the Pirates. Davis struck out earlier and left the game after two plate appearances.

“He felt it tug on him a little bit on the fly ball to right,” Hyde said during his Zoom conference call.

Davis was the designated hitter Sunday, a role that Trey Mancini is occupying today, as planned. Stevie Wilkerson is playing first base, where Davis apparently would have started if healthy.

Davis twice went on the injured list last summer with left patella tendinitis and appeared in only 16 of the 60 games. He produced a .115/.164/.173 slash line in 55 plate appearances, going 6-for-52 with three doubles and an RBI, and spoke last week of trying a new approach at the plate.

Further unveiling will be delayed.

Matt Harvey makes his Orioles debut Friday afternoon against the Blue Jays in Dunedin. Félix Hernández starts Saturday night versus the Tigers in Sarasota.

Hernández threw a two-inning simulated game yesterday on a back field.

“We’re going to evaluate them the whole month,” Hyde said. “We’ll continue to give them long looks.”

Austin Hays is fine after being hit by a pitch yesterday in Clearwater. He left the game because he had three plate appearances.

Tate-Orange-Away-sidebar.jpgReliever Dillon Tate will make his 2021 debut Wednesday afternoon against the Braves in New Port.

“Just seeing a live BP and a side, he looks like the same guy,” Hyde said. “I know he had a really good offseason, he’s done a lot of work, just a lot of maintenance work and healed that pinky up that he ended the year with. So far he’s throwing the ball great.”

Left-hander Wade LeBlanc starts Wednesday and Dean Kremer gets the assignment Thursday versus the Red Sox in Sarasota.

Available relievers today behind starter John Means include César Valdez, Tanner Scott, Paul Fry, Cole Sulser and Zach Muckenhirn.

Valdez will be stretched out in camp, an easy process after he started in the Caribbean Series.

“We feel like he can do so many things,” Hyde said. “I can always shorten him up. I don’t want to stretch him out late. He can fill a variety of roles for us. You saw him do that for us last year a little bit, and he can do even more. He starts in winter ball, he’s always been a starter in his career. So we’re going to stretch him out at least as a long bulk-type guy and we’ll see how our bullpen stacks up at the end of camp and see where he fits in.”

For the Yankees
DJ LeMahieu 2B
Aaron Judge RF
Gleyber Torres SS
Luke Voit 1B
Clint Frazier LF
Mike Ford DH
Miguel Andújar 3B
Kyle Higashioika C
Mike Tauchman CF

Jordan Montgomery LHP

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