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July 31, 2011

New Oriole Davis talks about himself, new O's pitcher Hunter

Chris Davis was in the visiting clubhouse at Yankee Stadium by 10:30 Sunday morning and, within a half hour, learned that he would be batting fifth for the Orioles and starting at first base for his new team.

“I'm eager to play,” said Davis, who along with pitcher Tommy Hunter was dealt to the Orioles on Saturday for Koji Uehara and $2 million. “That's why I got here as early as I did, but I think the biggest thing for me is to relax and enjoy myself and get to know these guys.”

Davis, 25, had spent his entire career with the Rangers, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2006. By 23, he was the Rangers’ Opening Day first baseman and hit 21 homers in 2009 while batting .238. The left-handed hitter has been in an elevator between Triple-A and the majors since. He has hit .250 with three homers in 76 at-bats for the Rangers this season.

“It's tough because I'm from Texas and I grew up there. It's the only club I knew,” Davis said. “But it got to the point where I felt like I wasn't in their plans to play every day, and I feel like I'm an everyday player. I'm glad to get the opportunity to come here.”

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was the skipper of the Rangers when Davis was drafted but didn’t really know him. He believes Davis’ lack of big league time had more to do with his path being blocked at the majors by Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland than Davis’ high strikeout totals and low average.

“We offer an opportunity to not have him looking over his shoulder,” Showalter said. “At some point, you might have to do it, but he is going to get a great opportunity here. That’s another reason he is so excited about being here.”

Davis’ best position is first base, but Showalter said he could get time at third base and left field.
“He really throws well, athletic,” Showalter said. “He is a good guy. Obviously, he was blocked there by a great player in Beltre. And they really like what Moreland is doing, and I don’t blame them. They have a lot of depth at a lot of different places. There were a lot of players that Andy [MacPhail] talked about.”

But MacPhail, the club’s president of baseball operations settled on Davis and Hunter, another 25-year-old with promise and big league experience. Hunter will join the team in Kansas City.
“It was kind of fun watching [Hunter] throw out of the bullpen because he was throwing 96, 97 mph,” Davis said. “He's a good pitcher, man. He's a smart pitcher. He knows how to pitch. You've got a good pitcher on your hands.”

Posted by Dan Connolly at 6:55 PM | | Comments (6)


Someone (preferably hitting coach who values discipline and OBP, instead of one who likes aggressive hitters) has to teach him to trike out less and walk more. He's Josh Bell with more power, and that just isn't good enough in a division that constantly has the top OBP and run scoring teams in baseball.

Our entire offense needs to learn the importance of OBP and making pitchers work.

We are headed in the right direction on young player. We MUST go get somepitching and not just young men but season pitcher with big leage talent. Forget growing the arm and buy the bats. The bats will come, without the bat you can't win. The minor A, AA, AAA don"t have the coaching needed. Been an ORIOLES fan since birth and will always be. Get us something to watch and enjoy.

does this mean we wont be going for Prince?

Come on... realistically we were never going to be in on Prince. Too much money and obviously we are not one first baseman away from playoffs.

If you were Prince would U come here?? We won't get the
top FA's (assuming we'd spend the money -- NOT a given) until
we have a better team. Top FA's
can get both money & a quality team. Two things not to be found in Balto. Hopefully one of these mid-season prospects will develop -- though we've been waiting now about 15 yrs to realize something in return for the vets we dump.

Two comments (questions);
Will Adam Jones ever learn that with two strikes on him he is going to get a low outside ball? He swings at it over and over. Frustrating to watch and predict.

Matt Wieters:Will he learn to swing with two hands? How many fly balls would go out if he did? Big man with a lazy swing and less power than Justin Pedroia because he swings hard and with two hands and body.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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