Davis ‘having a tough time’
Struggles at the plate continue for veteran after dugout outburst
NEW YORK — Orioles first baseman Chris Davis hasn’t enjoyed much success since he reached what he called his “breaking point” in a dugout altercation with manager Brandon Hyde last week at Camden Yards.
Davis wasn’t in the lineup for the first game of Monday’s doubleheader, and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the second game before he was pinch-hit for by Stevie Wilkerson as the Orioles tried to rally.
In 14 plate appearances since he was pulled from Wednesday’s game in the fifth inning for shouting and charging at Hyde in the dugout, Davis has a double, a walk, a sacrifice fly and nine strikeouts. His .178 batting average is as low as it has been since the All-Star break.
“I think he’s just having a tough time,” Hyde said. “He’s grinding, he’s trying, and it’s just … yesterday they threw him a ton of off-speed and he had a tough time. He was kind of geared up for the fastball. And he faced [Astros right-hander] Justin Verlander the day before, which is not an easy task for anybody.
“His attitude has been great. Everything is going really well except for the results at the plate. I just feel for him.”
Shepherd joins Orioles
Right-hander Chandler Shepherd flew across the country to provide pitching cover for the Orioles in late-July, but didn’t pitch. He’ll hope that being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday will allow him to make his major league debut this time around, as Monday’s doubleheader left the Orioles light on long relief.
Shepherd had two of his best appearances of the season between his major league stints, lowering his ERA from 8.39 to 7.22 with a pair of quality starts for the Tides.
“He’s made a couple nice appearances the last couple times, and following yesterday, we needed to add a pitcher for some length today and get a fresh arm in here,” Hyde said. “Added Shepherd, and we’ll see if he gets in the game.”
Shepherd said the recent success has come down to him being better equipped to turn over a lineup multiple times by embracing his secondary pitches, something that didn’t come as naturally as a converted reliever.
A possible long-relief role could allow him to showcase that.
“It’ll be special,” Shepherd said. “My last time here was a great experience for me, and I’d say I’m ready to get into a game and help this team out. It would be very special.”
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has seen his batting average drop to .178 since his dugout altercation with manager Brandon Hyde.
Davis has struck out nine times and had just one hit in 14 plate appearances since his argument with manager Brandon Hyde last week.