Orioles notes: Chris Davis sits Sunday with illness; Tanner Scott added to bullpen

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was left out of the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the New York Yankees with an illness, manager Buck Showalter said.

"Chris is sick," Showalter said. "Hasn't been asleep since yesterday. I was talking to him. He had a tough night. I could play him, but I'm not sure how physically he'd be ready. He hasn't slept in a while, he's been hacking all night.

"It's a thing that guys have, and the weather certainly wouldn't help it, to stand out here in this stuff and turn it into something that's five or six days. We thought we'd be smart and be cautious with it. He'll be available later in the game though. I told him to get some sleep. ... I'm hoping he's able to sleep some in the locker room during the game."

Davis is coming off an 0-for-3 day with a walk Saturday after homering for the first time this season in Friday's 14-inning, 7-3 win. He's 3-for-30 with five walks and seven strikeouts so far this season.

Sunday is Davis' second day out of the lineup in the first 10 games. He sat on Wednesday against left-hander Dallas Keuchel as his leadoff hitter experience came to an end, but homered against lefty CC Sabathia on Friday.

Showalter said it's a coincidence that Davis is out against another one Sunday.

"It has nothing to do with a left-hander," Showalter said. "If it was a right-hander, he wouldn't be playing today."

Scott added to bullpen

Showalter said left-hander Tanner Scott, who was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk as Jimmy Yacabonis was optioned there Sunday, had a good spring and is pitching well.

"Sometimes, timing is everything," Showalter said. "He's off to a good start. He had a good spring throwing the ball over the plate. We'll see what happens up here. It's tough gripping the ball but it's good to see him get off to a great start."

After right-hander Mike Wright Jr. gave up five runs in 2/3 of an inning in the Orioles’ 8-7 win over the Yankees on Sunday, Scott was part of a taxed relief corps, entering in the bottom of the sixth with the Orioles trailing 6-5.

He pitched a clean sixth, including a strikeout of Aaron Judge. After the Orioles took a 7-6 lead, Scott ran into trouble in the seventh, allowing a one-out single by Tyler Austin and walking Miguel Andújar. He got Jace Peterson to ground into a fielder’s choice to first, with Andújar forced out at second and Romine moving to third. Darren O’Day came on in relief, allowing a single to Austin Romine that brought in Austin and tied the game at 7.

Scott pitched out of the bullpen in Norfolk's season-opener Friday, a return to the role he came up in the minors with after spending 2017 on a starter's schedule and pitching in three-inning stints so he could get the bullpen between starts to work on his delivery and breaking ball.

He made his major league debut out of the bullpen last September, and the team feels it's better for him to stay in one role to be available to help the major league club this season.

"I like being a reliever, but whatever keeps me here, I'm open to," Scott said.

Showalter said a bullpen without many relievers who can be optioned to the minors lends itself to the team having an eight-man bullpen going forward.

The message for Yacabonis

Yacabonis, who allowed three runs on a pair of hits and two walks Saturday, is going to be replicating Scott's starter work this year for Norfolk. Showalter said the conversation with him to send him back was the same as it was when they had it last year, focused on improving his work with runners on base and his consistency on the mound.

"When he throws the ball down and away, it's fun to watch," Showalter said. "And his breaking ball has improved a lot. I think starting is going to be good for him because he's going to be able to face multiple hitters, work on his secondary pitches, and understand some of the things we're talking about with holding runners. That's the first time he's been in a windup since his sophomore year of college.

"He's got a chance. Physically, he's got all the skills. There's not a better pitcher's body in our organization than Yacabonis. He has huge hands. ... Got those great broad shoulders. He lost some weight this past season."

Cortes gets Yankee Stadium moment

Left-hander Nestor Cortes Jr., a Rule 5 draft pick from the Yankees organization, said it was odd to realize his Yankee Stadium dream in another uniform, but he was glad for the moment anyway.

He's pitched three times in the majors now, with Saturday's scoreless inning the first in which he didn't allow a run. He's learned a lot about the majors in his first taste at this level.

"Up here, you pay for your mistakes and what pitchers up here do really good is not make that many mistakes," he said. "That's why the successful ones are really successful, because they don't make that mistake that a young guy would do. The difference between Triple-A, spring training, and now, there's not much of a difference. You just try to pitch your game, whatever got you here that works."

Trumbo update

Designated hitter Mark Trumbo (quad) will play one more extended spring training game Monday before he and the team plan a next step, which will likely include a rehab assignment at a minor league affiliate. Showalter reiterated that all parties are going to take his comeback slowly.

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