ARLINGTON, Texas - Orioles first baseman Chris Davis feels the club’s acquisition of pitcher Jeremy Hellickson is a good move for the team. But what if the Orioles also began to look toward the future and dealt one of its key relievers? What if a team 6 ½ games out of the wild card race started to look more toward the future than the present?
“For me, it is hard to look that far down the road,” Davis said. “Six and half is, I mean, it can change quickly. I don’t remember what the exact lead was Boston lost in 2011, but there is history that shows you that you can come back. We still have two months left. I don’t know, I think it is too easy to sit back and say, ‘We’ll start planning for next year.’ But to me there is too much baseball left to be played.”
Now the Orioles will add a pitcher they faced often when Hellickson was with Tampa Bay, while they lose a teammate and friend as Hyun Soo Kim heads to Philadelphia.
“It’s a good move for us,” Davis said. “Hate to see Kimmie go, but I think he will fit in nicely over there. I hope he gets a chance to play every day. It has to be tough coming from another country and not speaking much English to try and overcome all the adjustments you have to make at the big league level. He really impressed me with just the way he was able to put together a professional at-bat.
“We know Jeremy, we’ve seen him. He’s got a track record for having success in this division. He’s a solid, veteran pitcher and that is what we need right now.”
Davis was asked if he has any thought about how the Hellickson addition fits into the bigger picture?
“I don’t think guys are really thinking about that,” he said. “I hope they’re not thinking about that. I hope they are thinking about the task at hand tonight. It’s encouraging when you see a move like that. We are not throwing in the towel. I don’t think anybody expects us to do that. To know that we are still committed to this year, it’s encouraging,” Davis said.
Pitcher Chris Tillman, who took the loss last night, talked about the additon of Hellickson. But he also indicated he is not sure if the club is more in buy or sell mode right now.
“I don’t know, to be honest with you,” Tillman said. “I know as far as the clubhouse goes we definitely don’t think we are out of it. Feel like we’ve been in this position before, we’ve gotten there before. I feel like, the guys in the clubhouse still feel [like that]. I don’t know how everyone else feels.
“I’ve seen him pitch quite a bit, pretty good pitcher the last I remember when he was with the Rays. I feel like every time he went out he ate up innings and did his job. He’s good, he’s been good for a long time. We are fortunate to have him, so I like it,” he said