Orioles slugger Chris Davis was on hand for the team’s annual FanFest today and opened up about the 25-game Adderall suspension which put an end to his disappointing 2014 campaign and left him on the sidelines during the playoffs.
Davis was suspended because he was found to have tested positive on two occasions for Adderall. Players are allowed to take the drug if they receive a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) from MLB. This is something Davis had in previous years, but for some reason he didn’t have it last year.
According to Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com, below is part of Davis’ explanation:
“I took it a couple of times. It was a moment of weakness,” Davis said. “I wish I could go back and undo it.”
Davis, who fell back sharply from his 53 home run season in 2013, said that Adderall helps him concentrate because he has Attention Deficit Disorder. It’s not a performance-enhancer, he says.
“It was never a baseball issue. It was an everyday life thing,” Davis said.
Obviously many beg to differ about whether Adderall is a performance-enhancer. Davis, who was originally diagnosed with ADD in 2008, has a TUE for Adderall this year. He still has one game remaining on his suspension from last year, so he will have to sit out Opening Day before rejoining the Orioles lineup. However, he will be eligible to play during spring training.
MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles have hired Scott Coolbaugh as the club’s new hitting coach. Once Charlie Manuel turned down the position, the Orioles moved quickly. In Dallas, Coolbaugh met for two hours with manager Buck Showalter and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson.
Coolbaugh, 48, spent parts of four seasons in the major leagues with the Rangers, Padres, and Cardinals. He had been serving as the minor league hitting coordinator for the Rangers. Kubatko writes that the Rangers had initially declined permission for the Orioles to interview Coolbaugh but relented yesterday.
Jim Presley had been the Orioles’ hitting coach dating back to 2010, but he was reassigned within the organization in late November.
More on Coolbaugh, via Kubatko:
Back in September, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was suspended for 25 games for testing positive for Adderall, a banned stimulant. He missed 17 games in the regular season and seven postseason games. After he sits out on Opening Day he’ll be eligible once again.
It didn’t have to be that way. Davis had previously obtained a therapeutic use exemption allowing him to take Adderall but, for whatever reason, did not have such an exemption last year. Why he didn’t he has not said, but he didn’t. But that will change in 2015, as Orioles manager Buck Showalter said on Tuesday that Davis has once again received a therapeutic use exemption for next season.
One would assume that his lack of having one last year was not because he was denied — MLB approved over 100 of them last year — but because he did not seek one, as even a lax oversight process for such things would probably not go back and forth with approvals and denials like that. Of course, there are many who question how much one has to show to get such an exemption in the first place given how many players do get it. It’s an . . . interesting little part of baseball’s drug story.
But whatever one thinks of all of that, we know one thing: Davis will be back on Aderall next year.
Yesterday, we learned that the Marlins were considering Evan Gattis and Chris Davis as trade options for an upgrade at first base. You can add Brandon Moss of the Athletics to the list, per MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, as well as Allen Craig of the Red Sox (via Clark Herald of the Miami Herald).
The Marlins got below-average production out of Garrett Jones this past season, as he batted .246/.309/.411 with 15 home runs and 53 RBI in 547 plate appearances. The average slash line for a first baseman in the National League was .257/.330/.430.
With the Athletics having added Ike Davis and Billy Butler already, Moss has become expendable despite another productive year in Oakland. He hit .234/.334/.438 with 25 home runs and 81 RBI.
Craig joined the Red Sox at the trade deadline along with Joe Kelly in the trade that sent John Lackey to the Cardinals. He had a miserable year, posting an aggregate .215/.279/.315 line with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 505 plate appearances.
The Marlins want some power to complement Giancarlo Stanton. Here’s some power:
Determined to upgrade over Garrett Jones at first base, the Marlins have begun exploring trades. Colleague Clark Spencer and I confirmed that the Marlins are interested in Atlanta’s Evan Gattis and Clark was told they also have inquired about Baltimore’s Chris Davis. Both Gattis and Davis are 28.
The Braves have traded with their division rivals in the past, so it’s not out of the question that they’d do it again. This is the first I recall hearing of Chris Davis possibly being available, though maybe he isn’t. It doesn’t hurt to call someone.
Both guys have big holes in their games — with Gattis it’s defense, with Davis it’s plate discipline — but if you want some bombs, and if you’re willing to give up some pitching, they could be your huckleberries.