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Inbox: When will Davis return to lineup?

Beat reporter Brittany Ghiroli answers fans' questions
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

When will Chris Davis return to the lineup and do you think anything will change?
-- Michael A., Columbus, Ohio

Right now, it looks like Davis probably won't start on Tuesday in Washington, though it's looking like he's pretty close to getting back. If he does return for the end of the Nationals series, he'll face a tough task with Gio Gonzalez the second day and Max Scherzer in Thursday's series finale. But this is the big leagues, and there's never going to be an ideal spot to return.

When will Chris Davis return to the lineup and do you think anything will change?
-- Michael A., Columbus, Ohio

Right now, it looks like Davis probably won't start on Tuesday in Washington, though it's looking like he's pretty close to getting back. If he does return for the end of the Nationals series, he'll face a tough task with Gio Gonzalez the second day and Max Scherzer in Thursday's series finale. But this is the big leagues, and there's never going to be an ideal spot to return.

Davis -- on pace for one of the worst offensive seasons in history -- has been working early on the field with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson to try to figure things out. It's tough to say if anything will be different this time around, though this has been a pretty long layoff for Davis, who hasn't played since last Monday.

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I've said it before and it bears repeating: The Orioles can't just stash Davis on the bench. One, it forces them to play short. Two, the O's have four more years committed to Davis. So if he won't go to Triple-A to work on stuff, the only reasonable option was to sit him a few days and hope he can gain confidence from some adjustments and start to improve. Will this work? I have no idea, but it was worth a shot.

Why send down a rookie like Chance Sisco in a lost season?
-- Darleen R., Columbia, Md.

It was unexpected to see Sisco demoted to Triple-A Norfolk after Sunday's game, but this will give him a chance to work on some defensive parts of his game with less of a spotlight. It's not that he has fallen in the organization's eyes or that his offense wasn't great (as most of the team is slumping). It'll do the rookie some good to get some reps at Norfolk, and the Orioles should benefit from veteran Caleb Joseph rejoining the club.

Are the Orioles still planning on trading Manny Machado? What's the holdup if so?
-- Gery D., Washington, D.C.

Yes, of course they're still exploring trades for Machado. I understand the logic that he's worth more the more games he plays for another team, but this isn't really something you want to rush. Machado is one of the best players in the game right now, and the Orioles have to make sure they get the best possible package they can for him. Obviously you're going to start to see trade rumors heat up over the next few weeks. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette did say last week that nothing had gotten close enough with Machado and other teams to warrant exchanging names. But that can change quickly.

What's the plan with Andrew Cashner?
-- James T., Towson, Md.

Cashner is set to start on Wednesday in D.C. after a side session over the weekend went OK. The initial thought would be with Davis returning to the lineup that the O's would get rid of a position player for his arrival. But that's contingent on what state the pitching is in following Tuesday's game.

Is Machado the only player the Orioles are looking to deal? We're going to need more to actually rebuild.
-- Chris M., Providence, R.I. 

Yes, I agree. Machado isn't going to bring back a haul to reshape the organization. (He may have a year or two ago, but he's just a rental now with free agency pending this offseason.) To that end, the Orioles have to look at trading Zach Britton, Brad Brach and Adam Jones, who are all pending free agents. But beyond that, I think they have to make decisions on guys like Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. Are they going to be part of the next great Orioles team? If the answer is no, you have to at least listen to offers. Teams that want to shorten painful rebuilds aren't afraid to make tough decisions and unpopular trades. I'm not saying you have to trade those two, but I wouldn't rule anything out as the O's try to rebuild for the future.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

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