2013 AL home run champ Chris Davis thought he could avoid the disabled list after suffering a strained oblique Friday, but following an MRI on Saturday, the Orioles made the decision to hold him out for 15 days.
“A little bit worse than what we thought it was going to be,” Davis said. “Strain, I guess is what we’re calling it. Obviously, the oblique. It’s kind of crazy because I don’t feel terrible. I’ve never had anything like this before. I figured it would just be a few days and then we’d forget about it.”
It’s a badly-timed injury for the Orioles, as they just DFA’d their backup first baseman, Steve Pearce, on Tuesday. As a result, they had Nick Markakis make his third career start at the position on Friday. Both of their first basemen in Triple-A, Brett Wallace and Chris Marrero, are off to lousy starts. Wallace, the former Astro, is hitting .167/.197/.208 with no homers in 72 at-bats, while Marrero, a longtime Nationals prospect, is at .210/.306/.371 in 62 at-bats.
As a result, the Orioles might just continue to go with Markakis at first, Nelson Cruz in right and a committee at DH for the next couple of weeks. Delmon Young would stand to be the biggest beneficiary there.
The Orioles beat the Blue Jays again on Thursday evening, 4-0, and in doing so eliminated the Yankees and Astros from contention in the American League Wild Card race.
The offense pecked away with a run in each of the third, fourth, seventh, and eighth innings. Starter Ubaldo Jimenez limited the Jays to one hit and three walks with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. Donnie Hart got the final out of the seventh. Brad Brach dominated with two scoreless innings to finish out the ballgame.
The Orioles and Blue Jays are now tied for the first and second Wild Card slots in the AL. The Tigers’ game with the Indians was postponed due to rain and they now sit 1.5 games behind both the O’s and Jays. The Mariners and Athletics game will begin shortly with the Mariners 2.5 games behind.
In a mailbag published on Thursday, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post says he has spoken with Arenado and his agent from the Wasserman Media Group. Based on that, he says the Rockies have not broached the subject of a contract extension with the All-Star third baseman.
Arenado will enter his second of four years of arbitration eligibility after earning $5 million for the 2016 season. He’s due to a hefty pay raise and will continue on that track into free agency after the 2019 season. It may behoove the Rockies to get extension talks started sooner rather than later. Saunders, however, thinks that Arenado wants to see if the Rockies become contenders in the next two seasons before signing the dotted line.
Arenado, 25, enters Thursday’s action batting .293/.361/.567 with 40 home runs, 130 RBI, and 112 runs scored in 678 plate appearances. His 40 homers is best in the National League and the 130 RBI are best in the majors. He has an argument for winning the National League Most Valauble Player Award.