It’s not official yet, but MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles are expected to place Chris Davis on the disabled list with the strained oblique that he suffered in Monday’s loss to the White Sox. The Orioles did not need any more turmoil, but that’s what they’re going to get.
Davis appeared to suffer the injury after his third inning at-bat, when he flew out to the warning track in right-center field with the bases loaded. That ended the top half of the inning and in the bottom half, Davis was replaced at first base by Trey Mancini.
The exact injury wasn’t immediately clear. Later in the game, the Orioles announced that Davis exited due to a strained oblique, crushing the hopes of anybody who might have been hoping it was “only” a rolled ankle.
Last night’s post-game comments on the oblique from manager Buck Showalter left a clear picture of where Davis was likely going to be headed, and it didn’t sound like it was going to be anywhere good:
Showalter on Chris Davis' oblique: "Those things usually don’t end well, but we’ll keep some positive thoughts about it." #Orioles— Jon Meoli (@JonMeoli) June 13, 2017
Showalter usually tries to keep a sunny disposition about these sorts of things, and there are many occasions where his initial comments about an injury later appear to wildly undersell the full scope of an injury. So for even Showalter to say something like the above, there wasn’t any good place for that to go.
There’s no way to hide that it’s a blow for the Orioles. Davis might not be hitting like an MVP candidate, but he’s still one of the above league-average hitters on a team that’s not flush with them right now, and the power potential shown in his team-leading 14 home runs will be missed. We’ll have to see later if they give an estimate on how long he is expected to be out.
Perhaps with an empty spot at first base, the Orioles will get either Mark Trumbo or Mancini out of the outfield. On the other hand, they might just call up Pedro Alvarez from Triple-A Norfolk and not even attempt to use this injury as an opportunity to address their defensive deficiencies caused by infielders in the outfield.