In his pregame news conference Monday, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Chris Davis has been working quietly with infield coach Bobby Dickerson at third base for the past week or so as an option for when Manny Machado was suspended.
Davis, who is starting at third base tonight against the Texas Rangers, has experience at the position, Showalter said, and it allows the Orioles to get Delmon Young in the lineup. Young has been relegated mainly to pinch-hit duties because Steve Pearce has been crushing the ball.
Davis, the primary first baseman, is at third base tonight, while Pearce is at first base and Young is the designated hitter.
Showalter, however, wouldn’t commit to that alignment for the full five days that Machado is suspended. Part of the problem is that, by using all three, it severely weakens the club’s bench, which will already be short a player because of Machado’s suspension.
* Before the game, the Orioles purchased the contract of right-hander Ramon Ramirez from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned right-hander Evan Meek to the Tides. The club chose to add a pitcher and not an infielder such as Jemile Weeks, who was moved from Norfolk to short-season Single-A Aberdeen on Friday to be closer to Baltimore. Weeks likely will head back to Norfolk.
* Assuming the Orioles don’t run into pitching trouble tonight, left-hander T.J. McFarland would make a spot start Tuesday against the Rangers. Chris Tillman would then start Wednesday and Wei-Yin Chen on Thursday.
* The Orioles need to make a decision on outfielder Nolan Reimold, whose injury rehabilitation assignment ended at Double-A Bowie on Sunday. Reimold (neck surgery), 30, has not played in the majors since last July 13, 2013. Showalter said he is waiting for official announcement. However, the most likely scenario is that the Orioles designate Reimold for assignment and then have 10 days to trade, release or place him on waivers. Because he is owed the prorated amount of his $1.025 million salary and a claiming team would have to place him on their 25-man roster, it’s possible Reimold gets through waivers and returns to the Orioles' minor league system.
* Rule 5 infielder Michael Almanzar was designated for assignment Monday. Eventually he must be offered back to the Boston Red Sox for half the original sale price of $50,000, but first the other major leagues teams can attempt to claim him and put him on their 25-man rosters. He had been on the 60-day disabled list with left knee tendinitis.
* Showalter said “I’m not going to go there” when asked what he thought of Major League Baseball’s decision not to reduce Machado’s suspension.