Chris Davis’ strategy for next week’s Home Run Derby is simple.
“Swing hard, and hit it far,” the first baseman said Tuesday before the Orioles hosted the Texas Rangers.
Davis was selected to the American League's Derby team Monday by New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, and he spoke to the media for the first time since his selection Tuesday.
Much has been made in the past about players harming their performance in the second half of the season based on messing up their swing in the Home Run Derby, but it doesn’t appear that Davis is worried.
“I don’t believe that,” Davis said. “I think there are a lot of guys that have done it and had great second halves. I think if you’re going to have a good second half, you’re going to have a good second half. You might as well take a few extra swings”
Davis also said he's selected assistant coach Einar Diaz, who has been throwing him batting practice this season, to be his pitcher for the event Monday night at Citi Field.
Davis said he asked Diaz if he would get nervous during the nationally televised event.
The former big league catcher responded, “I don’t get nervous,” so Davis said, “OK.”
Davis doesn’t think the Home Run Derby is an event that he can practice for, but he said he will try to take batting practice without a cage and with a catcher sometime before the competition to simulate the feel of the contest.
Manager Buck Showalter said previously that he hopes Davis understands that every home run that clears the wall counts the same as a long one.
Davis, though, is thinking big.
“Once you hit a few, then you want to see how far you can hit them,” Davis said. “At least I do. I think after I hit a couple — I hope I hit a couple, I may goose egg. You never know, nothing’s guaranteed.”
** Right-hander Steve Johnson (left oblique strain) will throw batting practice in Sarasota, Fla., on Thursday.
** Showalter said outfielder Steve Pearce (wrists) could begin swinging again soon. Pearce is in Sarasota as well.
** Infielder Wilson Betemit (knee) remains the same in his comeback and rehab, Showalter said.
Rangers: Kinsler 4, Profar 6, Cruz 9, Beltre 5, Pierzynski 2, Andrus DH, Murphy 7, Chirinos 3, Martin 8; Perez 1
Orioles: Markakis 9, Machado 5, Jones 8, Davis 3, Hardy 6, Wieters 2, McLouth 7, Roberts 4, Reimold DH; Britton 1Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun