As he sat in the dugout for his pregame interview today, Orioles manager Brandon Hyde was asked about the retirement of first baseman Chris Davis. Hyde managed Davis for 105 games in the 2019 season and 16 games last season.
“I want whatever is best for Chris and Chris’ family,” Hyde said. “We traded texts this morning. We’ve stayed in touch this season. Always got along really well with him, really like him. He’s done so many great things for this organization, the community here, so it’s a day where we should be celebrating Chris and his career and all the great things he did here.”
Hyde said he chooses to remember the strong track record of Davis earlier in his O’s career.
“Those really good years, those ‘12 to ‘17 years, he was a fixture in the lineup and a major run producer,” Hyde said. “He was a middle-of-the-order bat on a really, really good team that had All-Star-caliber years. And, you know, he’s done so much off the field as well. Great teammate. Well-liked in the clubhouse, well-liked around the league. And I think that is what will be his legacy - somebody that put together some great years as well as being well-liked around the league and in his own clubhouse.”
Hyde was asked how Davis was doing when he reached out to him today.
“We didn’t get emotional about it. It was more of just a check in and he seemed fine,” Hyde added, saying the he felt today’s news was always a possibility, though he didn’t know about any timeline for this day.
But as O’s skipper, Hyde saw the version of Davis that was not the big run producer but the player who produced an OPS of just .550 from 2018 on.
“Well, I think guys, some players at the end of their careers, through injuries or (whatever), just don’t have the same production,” he said. “You know, I’m sure Chris would have liked to stay healthy these last few years and put up bigger numbers, but it wasn’t in the cards. I just think the important thing is to focus on the really good years he had here and everything that he has done for this organization and the community here.”
In other matters, the Orioles today reinstated reliever Tyler Wells from the 10-day injured list with right wrist tendinitis. Their bullpen is getting healthier with Tanner Scott and now Wells back from the IL over the past two days.
Wells last pitched on July 19 on the road against Tampa Bay. The Rule 5 pick has been one of the team’s best pitchers, going 2-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 29 games. He has a WHIP of 0.939 with a 1.9 walk rate and a strikeout rate of 11.3 per nine innings.
Hyde said Wells is going right back into the deep end of the pool.
“I’m planning on using him late in the game, probably the ninth inning,” said Hyde of Wells. “We’ve had a tough time in the ninth inning for three years. So whether me giving Tyler one-inning spurts, also saves innings, the innings limit kind of helps him out from that standpoint. I just like the makeup. I think he’s got the stuff, he’s got the mentality to attack hitters. I don’t think he’s afraid of the moment. So whether it’s the eighth or the ninth, it’s not like he’s got years and years of saves. So I was going to try it out before he got hurt and haven’t changed my thoughts on that.”
The Orioles are listing right-hander Spenser Watkins (2-3, 4.22 ERA) as Friday’s starter in Boston and right-hander Jorge López (3-12, 5.75 ERA) for Saturday afternoon. Sunday is TBA and that could turn out to be the return of left-hander Bruce Zimmermann, who pitched five hitless and scoreless innings Tuesday night for Triple-A Norfolk and would line up on turn for that game.