Chris Davis’ season is over. Orioles manager Brandon Hyde confirmed on Saturday that Davis will not return from the injured list until the end of Baltimore’s regular season schedule and puts close to the final chapter in the long saga between the Orioles and their fought, high-paying first baseman. “He is
On the injured list from Aug. 21 to Sept. 8 with what the club called left knee patellar tendinitis, Davis only got three (hitless) bats before landing back on IL on Sept. 14. It would have made him available only to return for the final weekend of the season; Hyde said Saturday that it would not happen.
Davis has not addressed the media about his injury status since early August, when he missed several games in the COVID-19 protocol. He hit .115 without a home run across 16 games in 2020, mostly in a reserve role.
So what happens now? Davis, 34, still owes $ 42 million through 2022 with approx. $ 4 million more in deferred money on top of that. He has not been a league-average offense player since 2016, the year after he signed the $ 161 million seven-year contract that currently anchors him to the list.
Although Orioles has long been with Davis in public, some have speculated that they could cut ties now that Davis’ is not just unproductive – he apparently stands in the way of young players. Come 2021, Orioles had to put a crowded home yard out of Anthony Santander, Trey Mancini, Cedric Mullins and Austin Hays, as it is, and that does not include
Mountcastle have simply been the Orioles’ best player since being promoted at the end of August; Santander had this status before his season-ending oblique injury, and Mancini himself before he was diagnosed with colon cancer in March. Space for Davis seems to be declining, at least on paper.
The Orioles on Saturday also selected struggling aides
Velazquez’s season is probably over due to the late date on the calendar, though he can be recalled as a replacement for an injury. Velazquez was widely used in that role to spell hobbling José Iglesias on maps and cover outfields with Hays on the shelf. But with Hays back and Mullins playing every day in the center, Velazquez’s roster spot became usable.
“Since Hays and Mullins are here, we feel comfortable with our depth of field [Pat] Valaika could play cards, ”Hyde said. “We wanted the extra arm for coverage down the stretch.”
The Orioles also want to look more at Phillips, who beat all four hitters he faced as the 29th man in the second game of Thursday’s double header against the Rays. The right-hander is 1-3 with a 7.09 ERA and 1.8 strike-to-go ratio over parts of three seasons with the Orioles.
Joe Trezza covers Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.