With all the attention on the players who won't be spending the next few weeks with the Orioles and those who replace them, the bulk of the team's everyday position players come April have faded into the background so far.
That, however, is the way the Orioles want it to be. But for the trio of first baseman Chris Davis and outfielders Mark Trumbo and Seth Smith, that could change this week.
Over the next eight days, the Orioles have five games at home, the venue where manager Buck Showalter likes to let his veterans play and get most of their in-game reps. So while it's far too early to gauge progress for that group — and probably still will be by the time this stretch is over — we're at least approaching the point where that group should be performing in a way that's a bit more representative of their 2017 standards.
"You just try to stay off them a little bit," Showalter said. "It's so long, and we're talking about and looking at a lot of things. [Hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh] has got a lot of things they're working on inside, and it's not anything where I get involved with [Davis] or [Trumbo] or any of our guys right now."
Of that trio, there hasn't been much noteworthy happening at the plate. Trumbo doubled Sunday for his first hit in his fifth spring game (13 at-bats), while Davis has three hits in 11 at-bats. Smith is still searching for his first hit despite walking three times in a dozen plate appearances, though Showalter believes his track record is that of a player who comes along later in spring.
That all three are walking — they've combined for nine walks in 42 plate appearances — shows that they are at least getting into their approaches and seeing pitches well at such an early stage.
By this time next week, the Orioles will undoubtedly be hoping that they're farther along and continue a healthy progression toward April 4.
"I've got some points of emphasis with all of them, but now's not the time for that," Showalter said. "And it's tough for me, because I want to press, press, press with it. But now is not the time."