Results tagged ‘ Chris Davis ’

Baltimore Orioles: Mike Wright strong, Chris Davis homers in loss

The Baltimore Orioles took it on the chin at Ed Smith Stadium this afternoon, however it’s tough to say whether starter Mike Wright Jr’s good outing or first baseman Chris Davis‘ two-run homer was a bigger deal. The Birds gave up ten runs in the eighth inning, but that’s beside the point – especially when the guys in the game pitching probably aren’t going to be on the roster come Opening Day. But the good news is that Mike Wright, who is trying to make the roster, looked good as a starter. Wright’s line: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K.

The Orioles got on the board first on a wild pitch in the second inning. Steve Wilkerson would add a sac fly-RBI, and the Birds led 2-0. Lowe’s RBI-single in the fifth for Tampa would cut that lead to 2-1.

However as I said the other big story was Chris Davis. After Tampa got on the board, he responded with a two-run homer in the last of that fifth inning to run the Orioles’ lead to 4-1. We’ve heard a lot about how Davis has changed his approach at the plate and how the hope is that things will be different this year. He was 1-for-3 on the afternoon with two RBI on that two-run homer – so yes maybe something is a little different.

However even Tampa’s reserves showed the same moxie that their regular team seemed to show all of last year – anything you can do I can do better. They simply weren’t going to be denied Tampa’s first victory on the spring this afternoon. As I said above, they managed to put ten runs on the board in the eighth. The inning kind of snowballed, in a similar manner that we saw occur in 2018.

Again however, nobody in the game for either side at that time is expected to break camp with the big league club. (Although Tampa sure had some guys who looked hungry in that eighth inning.) So Orioles fans should not view this as here we go again. Just take it as a very bad inning at the tail end of an early spring game. Basically, take it at face value.

Anthony Santander smacked an RBI-single in the last of the eighth to cut the lead to 11-5. However after that the rains came…and by rains I mean a torrential downpour. The game was called at that point, with Tampa being awarded an 11-5 victory.

Incidentally however about that Santander RBI-single; it was set up by the previous at-bat in which Ryan Mountcastle stretched a single into a double. Those are the small things that you have to take away from these spring games, win or lose. The play was right in front of Mountcastle, and he saw he had a shot at second base. The new regime wants the Birds to be more aggressive on the base paths, which is exactly what Mountcastle did. These are the small things which don’t show up in the box score which help you win games.

Again, the takeaways from this one should be Mike Wright’s outing, and Chris Davis’ home run. Those are both very positive signs for the Orioles, who in reality shouldn’t feel too badly about this game. And the fact is that sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other side – something the O’s did a lot last year. But again if you take anything away from this one, let it be Wright and/or Davis.

The O’s head back to Ft. Myers tomorrow, this time to take on division rival Boston at Jet Blue Park. Gabriel Ynoa takes to the bump for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Eduardo Rodriguez. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles’ FanFest a rousing success

Yesterday the Baltimore Orioles hosted an estimated 8,000 fans at the Baltimore Convention Center for their annual FanFest. That’s down from previous years; there have been FanFests which have drawn 12,000 or so people. However given the fact that many players on the team wouldn’t have even been recognizable on the street, I think that’s a decent number.

You have to take into account the rebuilding process that the Orioles are going through, and then put the dip in attendance into that context. And the fans who came were genuinely excited and enthusiastic to be there. The way I see it, the current state of the team gives folks an opportunity to get in on the ground level so to speak on the next era and generation of Orioles baseball.

Folks don’t know what to expect going into this year with a new manager and almost an entirely new roster. Yet the fanfare around the club was familiar to people yesterday. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is still a great place to spend a summer evening or afternoon. Not everything will be different – the beer will still be cold!

One thing of note, it’s interesting to hear first baseman Chris Davis speak to some of the changes he’s made (mainly in his offseason workout regiment) going into 2019. Davis, it appears, is fully on board with attempting to reverse the disastrous 2018 season he turned in:

It was a lot different this year. Unfortunately, I’m not getting any younger and I think this past season more than anything just really taught me a lot about taking care of my body, the way it looks like as I get older. I can’t go in there and crush arms all the time or just load up and attack training the way I have in years past. So I’ve had to do some different things this offseason.
I’m a little bit lighter and everybody keeps telling me that I look skinny, so I guess that’s a compliment. But I feel good. I feel more ready this time this year than I did last year. That’s saying a lot because I felt like I was really going to have a good year going into spring training. I’m ready to get it started, I’m ready to put last year behind us and start this season off. We’re actually going down to Sarasota a little early.

Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports

Whether Davis’ new manner of working out and treating his body makes a difference remains to be seen. However that might well be the key to whether the Orioles show marginal improvement or decent improvement in 2019.

Baltimore Orioles: Can Chris Davis regain his stroke?

One of the biggest questions surrounding the Baltimore Orioles in 2019 will be whether or not Chris Davis can improve his offensive output. Davis’ current contract, worth $161 million, is the largest in team history. It hasn’t paid off as of yet per se.

If Davis can turn things around, the “new administration” will immediately get props from the fan base. But either way, that’a a big if. Davis is doing his part however, as he’s changing up his workout regiment this off season. Davis has been working out in Texas for the past month or so. The hope is that he can regain the stroke he had a few years ago.

But what if he does regain some sort of power? That obviously bodes well for the O’s, but what would that mean for the rebuild? Odds are it would mean that the young hitters around him would become better in shorter time. No pressure there for Davis.

Baltimore Orioles: Hindsight is 20/20 with Chris Davis

The Chris Davis contract has become one of the most scrutinized in Baltimore Orioles’ history. Especially when the alleged contract that’s been offered to Manny Machado by the Chicago White Sox amounts to approximately $2 million a year more than what Davis is making with the Orioles. That’s certainly not lost on the fan base.

However hindsight is always 20/20. At the time the Davis contract was inked, there was legitimate fear amongst fans and team officials that one of the best sluggers in the league would leave Baltimore. And yes, at the time Davis was considered one of the best sluggers in baseball. The contract was widely applauded by fans and analysts alike. Nobody could have predicted that the bottom would fall out on Davis when it did.

We’re also talking about a different time. Yes for the Orioles, but also for the league. That Chris Davis contract might well end up being one of the last massive long-term deals. Teams aren’t as willing to commit big time dollars over a long period of time. Granted the Machado deal that’s on the table in Chicago is bigger. But it’s a far cry from the ten years, $400 million that he was seeking.

Ultimately, it’s unfair to judge the past by the standards of the present. Furthermore, the final chapter on Chris Davis in Baltimore doesn’t have to have been written yet. Things can always improve. And if the new regime in Baltimore has anything to do with it, perhaps in fact they will.

Baltimore Orioles: Will the fans stand behind the 2019 Birds?

As it stands now, the 2019 Baltimore Orioles appear to be void of any star power. Certainly there are a few familiar names, such as Chris Davis. Four or five years ago he would have been considered a star. But odds are that’s not the case any longer – at least not for now.

He’s not the only familiar name. Orioles fans will also recognize the Mancini’s, Bundy’s, and Trumbo’s of the world. And a few others. However there’s a difference between familiar players and stars. For years it’s been Adam Jones‘ team. He was the star. Until further notice, there’s no real star on this team.

And that make no mistake that there’s still an upside to that. Because that means that the next true Orioles’ star could be anyone. At this point it appears that time, fate, or consequence will decide who that’s going to be. It’ll happen organically.

However there is a concern and quite frankly a risk on the part of the organization. Most fans and analysts alike applauded the Orioles for the rebuilding effort. Both in deciding to do it, and how it’s been done to this point. But will fans respond in kind at the box office?

That’s the age old question. There is a certain mindset amongst some people that if they’re going to see (what temporarily could be deemed) minor league talent with no star power, they may as well use their entertainment dollars by going to Keys or Baysox games. Time will tell, but hopefully the fans remain constant and accepting of the process – and turn out to see this team play.

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis, Scott Boras, and Mike Elias

Chris Davis was a glaring and gaping hole in the lineup of the 2018 Baltimore Orioles. This much we know. Davis hit a career low .168 at the plate, with only 16 home runs. His presence on the 2019 team runs contrary to what the Orioles are trying to do. However his contract guarantees his presence on the roster.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I suppose it is if Davis can’t rekindle some of his previous form, however he’s also been known to this point as a clubhouse leader. Not to mention that he still has a very sure glove at first base. That’s not to say that he doesn’t commit errors here and there, but there are much worse first basemen out there than Chris Davis.

According to Davis’ agent Scott Boras, he met with Orioles’ GM Mike Elias on Tuesday evening to discuss Davis, and his hopeful resurrgence this coming year. That should come as welcome news for Orioles’ fans, as a Chris Davis getting back to form would help the team moving forward. Elias has already said that he would be involved in Davis’ off season training program, something that Davis apparently welcomed. However it’s unclear what Boras and Elias discussed – other than simply that they’re looking to get Davis’ production back up.

If we’re able to pencil Davis as a big bat back into the middle of the Orioles’ lineup, that’s only going to help the youngsters around him. The Mancini’s and Mullins’ of the world will benefit greatly. If Davis can raise his average and overall production back to semi-acceptable levels, the Orioles WILL win more than 46 games in 2019. That much I can all but guarantee.

Today’s the final day of the Winter Meetings, and all signs point to the franchise introducing a new manager at some point in the near future. Probably next week. However Elias will also choose the best player on the board at this morning’s Rule 5 draft. We know the routine by now – that player must be on the Orioles’ roster for the entire season or they’re sent back to their original organization. 

While it’s been somewhat of a running joke in terms of how much the Orioles have used the Rule 5 draft over the years under Dan Duquette, they’ve also potentially gotten more production out of Rule 5 players than any other franchise in history. Some of those players actually played for the O’s in postseason games. How unlikely is that to happen?! Needless to say, it’ll be interestin to see who they select.

Baltimore Orioles: What to do about Chris Davis?

Chris Davis (along with Mark Trumbo) finds himself in the strange position of being a holdover from the Baltimore Orioles’ former administration. This in the new era of Mike Elias. Davis, like him or hate him, will be one of the lone familiar faces to fans on the roster.

In his introductory remarks on Monday, GM Mike Elias said that he felt the Orioles would be best served by having a resurgent Chris Davis in the middle of the lineup. Most fans, along with myself, couldn’t agree more. However 2018 wouldn’t have been the disaster that it was had the Birds gotten that. Does Elias believe it’s possible for Davis to have a bounceback year?

Without going into detail we’ve already been over, Chris Davis had a historically bad season in 2018. So by the definition of the term, he should have a bounceback year next season. It would be hard to replicate or outdo the poor performance of 2018. However what would it take for that to happen?

The answer for now is that I really don’t know. Elias said that he wanted to be involved in Davis’ off season regiment of workouts which he’ll indubitably be doing as time goes on, but in reality the best Davis can do is to simply try to get better. That means seeing the ball better more than anything else. And that’s just something at which one has to consistently work.

With the rebuild the Orioles are attempting however, a powerful Davis will go along way. If he’s hitting under the Mendoza Line and constantly being scrutinized in the media, younger players might stay away from him. However if he’s pulling his weight at the plate, they will look to him, and see him a the leader that we all know he can be.

Point being, it’s not just production on the field. Davis (and Trumbo) are going to be called upon to show young players what it means to be an Oriole, and a major league player. Their performances on the field will go a long way towards easing that process.

Baltimore Orioles: How might a new regime handle Chris Davis?

I’m on record as saying that the Baltimore Orioles did the best they could with first baseman Chris Davis in 2018. Davis’ contract meant that they really couldn’t cut him. He spent some time on the bench, but DFAing him would have been a different story.

But what about next year? A new GM and a new manager will replace Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette. Showalter specifically we know is loyal to the bone, which many feel is why Davis was in the lineup as often as he was this past year. His contract certainly played a role also.

And the contract situation will continue regardless of who’s in charge. If the Orioles cut/DFA him, they’re still on the hook for his salary (unless they were able to trade him). Even if another team picks him up – the Orioles would be paying him to play for someone else. Also keep in mind that some of the payments are deferred until well after the contract ends.

Needless to say, a new regime isn’t going to be quite as loyal to a holdover from the old regime. And that’s in essence what Davis would be – a holdover. That isn’t to say that he would be cut. I’m not sure that the Angelos family would be happy wasting resources like that.

But would he play as often or as long? Tough to say. Just another in a long line of questions that will be posed to the new guys when they arrive.

Baltimore Orioles: Big seventh inning lifts Birds in Seattle

We hear teams like the Baltimore Orioles say all the time that you want to stay out of the big inning. That’s very true – when you’re in the field, that is. When you’re at bat, you certainly want a big inning. And last night Alex Cobb was the beneficiary of a big inning that the Orioles manufactured, on their way to a 5-3 victory in Seattle. Cobb’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

Cobb gave up a solo homer to Cano in the first inning. Other than that he pitched out of everything into which he got himself. And there weren’t many situations of note, I might add. All he needed was some run support. And he got it in the top of the seventh.

The Birds started off by tying the game on a solo homer by Renato NunezJonathan Villar‘s RBI-single later in the inning would give the Birds a 2-1 lead. Joey Rickard would add a sac fly-RBI, and Trey Mancini‘s RBI-double capped off the inning. When the smoke had cleared, the Orioles led 4-1.

I’m not sure what qualifies as a “big inning,” but four runs is decent enough. And it’s also something that’s alluded the Orioles for much of the season. Not only did it pick up their starter, but the fact that it occurred in the seventh limited the amount of time that Seattle had to come back.

They did net two runs on a force out and throwing error in the last of the eighth, which made things interesting to say the least. However Chris Davis added an RBI-single which acted as an insurance run in the ninth. Seattle went quietly in the last of the ninth to close out the Orioles’ 5-3 victory.

This was a good win for a young team to grind out. It’s unclear whether or not some semblance of this group is going to be the lineup into the distant future. Heck, it’s unclear if this group is going to be the lineup going into spring training next year. But they showed some grit in battling in this game the way that they did.

They also showed some spark in that seventh inning in terms of putting some runs on the board. Alex Cobb wasn’t perfect, but he put his team in a spot to win. And finally he was rewarded. For what it’s worth, with this victory the Orioles have officially surpassed the 1962 Mets’ win total. In other words, they won’t challenge for the worst record ever over a 162-game schedule.

The O’s will attempt to take the series from Seattle this evening in the finale at Safeco Field. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Mike Leake. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fight hard but fall to New York

It’s tough to fault the Baltimore Orioles for losing to the creme de la creme teams when they fight hard. And that’s exactly what they did last night against New York at Camden Yards. Alex Cobb turned in a quality start, but ultimately it wouldn’t be enough. Cobb’s line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

It was Chris Davis who gave the Orioles the lead early on. The Birds got a couple of runners on base early, and Davis’ two-RBI single gave them a 2-0 lead. And that held up for a couple of innings, that is until Voit smacked a two-run homer in the third to tie the game.

The frustrating part about Voit and his production last night is that he’s one of these “never before heard of” guys. He came to New York in a minor deal with the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29th – a deal that barely got a sentence in reporting it. Yet here he is tearing up the Orioles last night.

The Birds however would break the tie in the last of the seventh with a two-run homer off the bat of Jonathan Villar. However of course New York would come back immediately – of course they did. From the Orioles’ standpoint at least. Torres’ two-RBI single in the eighth inning tied the game back up at four. The O’s were able to get the lead back, but in their next immediate turn at the plate New York tied it back up.

And New York’s coup de grace came after the game went into extra innings. They smacked two homers in the top of the tenth inning, including a two-run shot by Voit. Again, the guy was traded in a very minor move to New York, and here he is ripping up the Orioles. Voit is in his second big league season; yet he smacked two homers against a team he’s never faced, and in a park at which he’s never played. That’s about par for the course for the Orioles this season.

Chris Davis would smack a solo homer in the last of the tenth, but it was too little too late. Again, it’s tough to fault the Orioles in a game whereby they fought hard. Especially against a team that has it’s sights set on the post season. But them’s the breaks, as they say.

The series continues this afternoon at Camden Yards with game one of a doubleheader. Jimmy Yacabonis is coming up from the minors to make the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s J.A. Happ. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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