Some thoughts on manager Buck Showalter's announcement Saturday night that Chris Davis is heading to the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain:
-- Davis is a tough guy. He plays through injuries. He's in tremendous shape. But the oblique is always a tricky injury and usually means at least 15 days on the disabled list. The fact he is heading there is no surprise.
-- Davis believes it can be the minimum 15 days. He said it doesn't really hurt that much, but it's one of those strains that can linger and get worse. So, he's shutting things down. He's hoping it was caught in time to allow him to get back soon.
-- He may not have been hitting the way he did last year, but Davis is the key to the offense. He is the guy for whom other clubs game plan. It's now incumbent on the remaining members of the club's offensive core, Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz, J.J. Hardy, Matt Wieters and Nick Markakis, to pick up the slack. Considering the Orioles have scored more than three runs in just 10 of their 23 games, this is a big blow.
-- How the Orioles replace Davis on the roster is incidental. Manny Machado should be coming off the disabled list within the next week -- probably for the Minnesota Twins series starting Friday, but potentially earlier -- and whoever comes up may go right back down. Given that, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Orioles go with another pitcher until Machado is ready.
-- It'll be interesting to see if the Orioles can do something with Steve Pearce, who was designated for assignment Tuesday. The assumption is that he has been put on waivers by now -- the Orioles, like all teams, don't announce when they place a player on waivers -- and he must clear waivers before they can put him back on the roster. There is a sense that he could get claimed, so the Orioles could always try to work out a deal with the claiming team, since obviously they could use him back on this club.
-- The Orioles' possibilities for first base in the minors are not appealing -- at least not the way the candidates are currently hitting. So get used to Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty at first unless the club can bring in someone new.