It's time once again for Orioles101 Mailbag as we have received several questions over the past week and with Manny Machado returning, the focus seemed to turn to the Baltimore Orioles Minor Leagues and first base for the Birds with Chris Davis on the DL.
As always, if we received multiple questions on the same topic, we answer them all in one shot. So let's get to it shall we?
Does Steve Pearce Play Everyday at First Base While Davis is on the DL?
No question that he made his presence known on Thursday when he started both games of the double header and collected four hits and two RBI, as well as flashing the leather at bit at first. The bottom line is as long he plays first base well defensively and is hitting, he will play. We definitely see the possibility that both Nick Markakis and Ryan Flaherty will get some time at first base as well, but Pearce appears to be the primary option.
What is a realistic return for Davis?
When you are dealing with an oblique injury, there is no protocol as every player seems to react differently and the range of time needed to heal varies player to player. The one thing that is not realistic is for him to return after the 15 days on the DL are up, he will remain on the DL longer than the 15 days, but as long as he does not suffer any setbacks of sorts, we could see Davis around Memorial Day or early June.
Is the Dariel Alvarez kid for real at AA Bowie?
It was funny that we got this question this week because he was the focus of our Minor League Spotlight yesterday (if you haven't read the article, you should, he has been very impressive this season). Alvarez is performing very well in his first full year in the Orioles organization and is proving that he can play all three outfield positions as he is mainly playing center field this year and as is well known around baseball, it is much easier to transition to the corner outfield spots as opposed to transitioning to center field. Alvarez is showing some power and is hitting for a high average. To answer the question, yes he certainly appears to be the real deal.
What happened to Michael Almanzar?
Almanzar has been one of the forgotten Orioles players this season after being selected in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft this offseason. Orioles fans are well aware of the Rule 5 draft rules of having to keep a player on the active roster all season with Ryan Flaherty and T.J. McFarland over the past couple of years, but Almanzar began the season on the disabled list and does not appear to be nearing a return anytime soon. He is currently not doing baseball activities and he recently received a plasma injection in his knee this week.
The best question of the week, and actually Flaherty's name could have been thrown in there as well. Weeks is a guy with legitimate speed that can help a team in the late innings on the base paths, so we got that part of it, but Flaherty has not hit very well this season and Lombardozzi's .292 average, although with no power, is hard to ignore. Ultimately, it was Flaherty's versatility as a defender that kept him on the roster as he can play all the infield positions and the corner outfield spots. He will need to be better at the plate in order to keep his job, but for now he got the nod over Lombardozzi.
We again thank everyone for submitting questions to us this week and we urge you to continue to do so as we love the interaction.
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