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Orioles notes: Davis eager to get out of 'wounded wing protocol' as elbow injury progresses

SARASOTA, FLA. — Orioles first baseman Chris Davis said Tuesday that he feels better after several days of rest and rehabilitation following an MRI on his sore right elbow this weekend.

"Obviously, the last couple days, I haven't done a lot," Davis said. "I've kind of gone through our little wounded wing protocol — whatever you want to refer to it as. But I feel better today. I think it's something that's going to be a day-to-day thing.”

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Orioles slugger Mark Trumbo enjoyed his career year at a time when analytical terminology such as launch angle and exit velocity could easily explain his success. If he gets back to that level in 2018, it will be because he's less "cluttered" with those thoughts at the plate.

Davis last played Friday and went 0-for-3 with a walk, and came to camp the next morning having seen the elbow get worse. He initially felt soreness earlier that week and posited that it could have been from sleeping on it wrong, but manager Buck Showalter said it was throwing-related. Davis had an MRI on Saturday that revealed it was structurally sound.

"I felt like I was getting close to being 100 percent the other day, and kind of had a little setback, so hopefully it's not too much longer," Davis said. "I'm getting tired of doing the same thing over and over. I'd like to do the same thing over and incorporate baseball into that."

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While his demeanor was concerning to Showalter on Saturday, Davis was far from dour a few days later. When first asked for an update, he feigned sobbing. He explained where the initial apprehension came from, though.

"I think it was just something that kind of came out of nowhere," Davis said. "I've never had any issues with my elbow — really haven't had any arm problems. I've been able to jump in the outfield in the middle of the season, make those throws and not really have any soreness or tightness or anything like that. It was just something that was unfamiliar, and anytime you hear ‘MRI,’ I think there's a little sense of anxiety that kind of creeps in. But as we get the results back and I sat down with [Brian Ebel] and the doc, I felt a lot better. Structurally, everything looks good. It's just a matter of taking it slow."

Showalter said before Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Twins that the whole situation was “encouraging.”

“I said three to five days [out],” Showalter said. “It's probably more like five. It's encouraging to see him move in the other direction today. I talked to him a little bit before I left.”

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Brach on track

Reliever Brad Brach, who is expected to take over closer duties in the absence of Zach Britton (Achilles), reported no problems after making his spring training debut Sunday in a win over the Boston Red Sox.

"It felt really good," Brach said. "I was able to get the ball to sink a little bit when I was throwing my sinker. My changeup, I was taking speed off a little bit. That was good. A couple pitches I want to take back, but for a first outing, it felt really good."

Despite the different role he'll fill once Opening Day comes March 29, Brach said he expects a typical workload in line with what he often does in Sarasota.

"I think it's going to be normal for the rest of camp. It's just kind of slow getting into it," Brach said. "There's no reason to rush really. But I think the rest of the way, it's going to be a normal spring training schedule. It's not every other day. A couple days off, pitch. The goal is to get, I think, nine innings by the end of camp. Somewhere around there."

Cashner progressing

Right-hander Andrew Cashner pitched a three-inning simulated game at the back fields of the Ed Smith Stadium complex Tuesday, and Showalter said it was more of the same in his second such outing.

“Everything went well,” Showalter said.

Left-hander Josh Edgin followed him with an inning-plus of work. Showalter said Edgin’s wife is due to have a baby Thursday, so they’re trying to keep him off the road in case he needs to leave.

Around the horn

Outfielder Austin Hays (shoulder) hit in the simulated game and threw for the first time since getting a cortisone injection in his shoulder Thursday. Showalter said there was expected stiffness in Hays’ shoulder after the throws, and after further treatment Tuesday, he’d serve as the designated hitter Wednesday. … The Orioles made another round of cuts Tuesday morning, mostly to thin the list of pitchers in major league camp. The club cut four pitchers — optioning right-handers Stefan Crichton, Michael Kelly and Yefry Ramírez to Triple-A Norfolk, while reassigning nonroster left-hander Andrew Faulkner to minor league camp. The Orioles also reassigned nonroster outfielder Jaycob Brugman, who was acquired in November, to minor league camp. Later in the day, they optioned right-hander Davis Hess to Norfolk and reassigned right-hander Jeff Ferrell to minor league camp.

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