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Orioles notes: Danny Valencia, Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo and Sunday's celebrity bat boys

Newly re-signed outfielder-third baseman Danny Valencia is one of the best hitters in the game against left-handed pitching, but he doesn’t want to get pigeonholed because of that.

“It’s definitely something that is good to fall back on — worst-case scenario — but I think, just like anybody else in this clubhouse, everybody feels like they’re a pretty good hitter all around,” Valencia said. “That’s more my mindset than just one specific way because the past few years, I’ve played against lefties and righties and some years I’ve hit better against righties than lefties, so you never know.”

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Valencia, who has a lifetime .313/.370/.493 slash line against left-handers, said there’s nothing unique about his approach.

Without even stepping foot on the mound in a game, new Orioles starter Andrew Cashner has made his influence on the team's 2018 fortunes evident. Cashner makes his Grapefruit League debut for the club Sunday.

“I think every right-handed hitter sees lefties better, just like a right-handed pitcher is seen better by left-handed hitters,” he said. “They’re coming into you, which takes away some of their pitches sometimes. I think it’s always an advantage to the hitter when the pitcher’s throwing opposite of what he hits.”

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He has not been exclusively platooned the past two seasons. He played 130 games for the Seattle Mariners in 2017 and the same number for the Oakland Athletics in 2016. Perhaps because of that, the gap between his righty-lefty pitcher splits narrowed considerably.

“I don’t think so much that I expect to get everyday at-bats at this point in my career,” he said. “Obviously, I want to have the respect from any coaching staff to be like, ‘He can hold his own against right-handed pitching and at the very worst, he could face lefties every day.’ But you just want to be in the lineup as much as possible and help the team. That’s just the goal.”

Davis receives injection

First baseman Chris Davis received an injection in his sore right elbow Saturday morning, but manager Buck Showalter said it was not an indication that he’s had a setback.

“It’s nothing that’s going to stretch that thing out any more,” Showalter said. “If anything, we hope it shortens it. They’re trying to reduce the inflammation.”

Is there concern that it’s taking so long?

“No, not from what everybody is telling me,” Showalter said. “It’s just something, ‘Hey, why don’t we do this, too, to speed up the process and get it completely out of there? We’ve got this down time, why don’t we take it?’ The injection shouldn’t increase his time away. It’s just to help the process.”

Trumbo update

Slugger Mark Trumbo has been sidelined for several days with soreness in his right quadriceps, but he said Friday that his treatment is progressing well and he should be playing in a few days.

“It’s shown some really good improvement,” Trumbo said. “I like where we’re going. I think it should be a few more days. It feels quite a bit better than it did. I just kind of got it aggravated there for a few days. It didn’t seem like it was smart to keep going at this point in the spring.”

In an effort to provide the best and most complete baseball coverage possible, there's been an increase in the use of analytics and advanced metrics on these pages in recent years. Here's a rundown of some of the most frequently used ones to reference as the season goes on.

He said he was hoping he would be able to play through some early tightness, but the soreness worsened during the Orioles’ March 6 game against the Minnesota Twins.

“In spring, you want to work things because there’s natural soreness,” he said. “I think the game against the Twins, it just seemed like it was a little more than normal, so I decided to say something.”

Trumbo was asked whether he’s concerned the interruption in his routine might affect his preparation.

“I wasn’t really tearing the cover off the ball, so I’m not sure if it put a skid on a hot streak,” he said. “It’s timing. I felt fine in the box. I don’t think it’s going to be a big hiccup. Still plenty of at-bats. Can go on the round and get some more at-bats. It’ll be fine.”

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Celebrity bat boys

If the bat boys for Sunday night’s televised game against the Philadelphia Phillies look familiar — and larger than usual — that look won’t be deceiving. According to a clubhouse source, pitchers Chris Tillman and Kevin Gausman will be filling that unusual role as punishment for finishing last in the team’s offseason NFL fantasy league.

Around the horn

The Orioles announced that they have agreed to one-year contracts with 28 players: right-handers Pedro Araujo, Alec Asher, Dulan Bundy, Miguel Castro, Stefan Crichton, Mychal Givens, Hunter Harvey, David Hess, Jesus Liranzo, José Mesa, Yefry Ramírez, Mike Wright Jr., Jimmy Yacabonis and Gabriel Ynoa; left-handers Richard Bleier, Nestor Cortes Jr., Donnie Hart, Chris Lee and Tanner Scott; infielder Éngelb Vielma; outfielders Jaycob Brugman, Austin Hays, Trey Mancini, Joey Rickard and Anthony Santander; and catchers Chance Sisco, Andrew Susac and Austin Wynns. … The Orioles cut right-hander Jhan Mariñez on Saturday, reassigning him to minor league camp.

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