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Notes: Orioles remain without Davis

@JoeTrezz
July 30, 2020

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis remained out of the lineup and unavailable for an undisclosed reason for the second straight game Thursday, manager Brandon Hyde said. Hyde said Davis had left the team Monday but declined to comment further on Davis’ status; he remained tight-lipped about the situation Thursday. Asked

Orioles first baseman Chris Davis remained out of the lineup and unavailable for an undisclosed reason for the second straight game Thursday, manager Brandon Hyde said. Hyde said Davis had left the team Monday but declined to comment further on Davis’ status; he remained tight-lipped about the situation Thursday.

Asked if he knew how long the O's would be without Davis, Hyde said, “I am not going to comment on Chris anymore.”

Hyde did say Wednesday the Orioles were not replacing Davis on the active roster -- that remained the case Thursday, when they made an unrelated roster move to activate John Means from the 10-day injured list. Renato Núñez started at first base Thursday for the second straight game.

The O's have made it a policy not to publicly discuss issues related to COVID-19 protocol, citing the possibility of false positives and players’ right to privacy. They had their four-game home-and-home series with the Marlins this week postponed after Miami experienced an outbreak, suspending its season through at least Sunday.

The Orioles flew to Miami on Sunday night for the scheduled opener, only to fly back to Baltimore on Monday evening. Their Wednesday and Thursday games were changed to face the Yankees, who had their scheduled four-game series against the Phillies -- the Marlins’ opponent last weekend -- postponed.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday night, Davis said his level of concern about playing had risen in recent weeks and that he planned to wear a mask on the field Wednesday. When Wednesday’s lineup was announced, Davis was not in it. The club has not addressed his status publicly.

“I would say I'm definitely a little bit more concerned, just as far as [my family is] considered,” Davis said. “Ultimately, you know, I'm not going to be able to protect everyone. I'm not going to be able to protect anyone other than myself. And I think that's kind of where my head is, as far as the mask is concerned. If I can do everything in my power to alleviate that stress, at least in my own mind. I think it's probably the best thing for me.”

Non-high-risk players who elect not to play are placed on the restricted list and do not get salary or service time. Davis’ wife, Jill, is a trained pediatric nurse. Their second daughter, Evie, was born with a serious heart condition in January 2018.

“I can't even think about bringing this thing home,” Davis said. “But I mean, it's just the risk that I've assumed. My wife and I have talked about it on more than one occasion. And you know, I think it's something that we both feel like it's worth at least going out there and giving it a shot before we just, you know, call it quits. So I'm going do everything I can to protect myself and hopefully be able to get through the season with no hiccups.”

The 34-year-old former home run champion is in the fifth year of a seven-year, $161 million contract signed before the 2016 season. He hit .188 with a .626 OPS from 2017-19 and began this season 1-for-11 with a double and one strikeout in three games.

Roster move
The club optioned right-hander Cody Carroll to its alternate training site as a corresponding move for Means, after the right-handed reliever struggled mightily in his first two outings of the season.

Carroll, 27, impressed O’s officials this spring and in Summer Camp after missing all of 2019 due to back issues. But those results didn’t translate to the regular season, with Carroll retiring just one of nine batters he faced in two appearances. Carroll walked four of those batters and hit another, ultimately surrendering six earned runs in 1/3 of an inning combined.

Iglesias out
A night after removing José Iglesias early with left quad soreness, Hyde kept the veteran shortstop out of Thursday’s lineup for the same reason. Iglesias has been the Orioles' most productive hitter early on, going 8-for-16 with four doubles out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

“We want to make sure we’re taking care of him,” Hyde said.

Pat Valaika started at shortstop in Iglesias’ place on Thursday, the utility man getting his second start of the season.

Joe Trezza covers the Orioles for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JoeTrezz.