G. Davis activated Mercedes sent down


Orioles first baseman Glenn Davis was activated from the disabled list in time for today's game with the Texas Rangers, and no one could be happier.

"I'm not that bad out of shape," said Davis last night, after the Orioles' 8-5 win over the Rangers. "I kept myself in good shape, even though I was hurt."

Davis was placed on the disabled list one day after Opening Day with an injury to his rib cage just below his armpit. To make room for Davis, the ballclub optioned outfielder Luis Mercedes to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings.

Davis, 31, who missed 105 games last season with an injury to the spinal accessory nerve in his neck, which caused weakness in his right shoulder, had begun to take batting and fielding practice last week, but manager Johnny Oates would not rush his return.

"He came in after batting practice [yesterday] and said, " 'I'm ready.' That's good enough for me."

Oates said a minor-league rehabilitation assignment had been discussed, but Davis had indicated he felt it was unnecessary.

Oates said Davis will "build up" to playing nine innings in the field, by pinch hitting first, then being designated hitter before taking the field. He would not speculate on a timetable.

Oates dismissed talk that Davis' return would be detrimental to the club, which has won six straight and 16-8 since Davis was put on the disabled list.

"This is the type of player you want. You'd have to be crazy not to want a guy like that on your club," Oates said.

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