With his 25-game suspension that carried over from last season now completed the Orioles have activated Chris Davis for tonight’s game against the Rays.
In order to hit the 25-game mark Davis was suspended for the Orioles’ final 17 regular season games and seven postseason games, plus the first game of this season.
He was suspended for using Adderall without an MLB-approved exemption, which he had in 2013 and has again for this season but failed to secure for 2014. Tonight he’s in the lineup at designated hitter and batting fifth.
In addition to the suspension Davis is also trying to get his on-field production back on track after he followed up an MVP-caliber 2013 campaign by hitting .196 with 173 strikeouts in 123 games on the way to a 300-point drop in OPS.
Kansas City didn’t end up missing Luke Hochevar much last season because the bullpen was ridiculously good without him, but now he’s close to being healthy again after Tommy John surgery and perhaps the Royals could use another late-inning option.
After being a bust as a starter Hochevar shifted to the bullpen full time in 2013 and threw 70 innings with a 1.92 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio. He looked pretty good in a handful of spring training outings and Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that the former No. 1 overall pick is building up arm strength at Triple-A in the hopes of being ready at some point in May.
Hochevar told McCullough that to throw “back-to-back days and be able to repeat my stuff” are the two biggest remaining keys to his recovery.
Unable to find a taker for Ryan Sweeney after designating him for assignment, the Cubs have released the veteran outfielder.
Sweeney was a relatively productive semi-regular for the A’s and Cubs from 2008-2013, but he hit just .251 with a .642 OPS in 77 games last season and was pushed out of Chicago’s outfield mix.
However, as part of a multi-year contract signed in October of 2013 he’s owed $1.5 million for this season and a $500,000 buyout for 2016. Chicago is on the hook for that money and Sweeney is now free to sign anywhere for whatever he can get.