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O's could continue having Davis bat leadoff

Slugger atop lineup for spring home finale; Hays headed for Double-A
MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles slugger Chris Davis batted leadoff again on Saturday night, and manager Buck Showalter said he could be an option there during the regular season.

"It's something we've been looking at since last year," Showalter said, adding that Davis -- who was sidelined earlier with a forearm issue -- can get more spring at-bats at leadoff. "There's that potential."

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Orioles slugger Chris Davis batted leadoff again on Saturday night, and manager Buck Showalter said he could be an option there during the regular season.

"It's something we've been looking at since last year," Showalter said, adding that Davis -- who was sidelined earlier with a forearm issue -- can get more spring at-bats at leadoff. "There's that potential."

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Would Davis, typically a middle-of-order bat, be OK hitting first?

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"You try to think about everything, but it's something that Chris kind of brought up as much as I did to him," Showalter said. "We'll see how it goes. Everything is subject to change. We haven't totally committed to it, but it's something we're thinking about."

Davis went 1-for-4 double off the right-field wall in a 12-4 Grapefruit League loss to the Twins.

Hays to open season at Double-A
The Orioles optioned their top prospect, outfielder Austin Hays, to Double-A Bowie prior to Saturday's game.

The move, while expected, makes the outfield situation a little more clear in the final days of camp, with four more cuts expected on Sunday. Trey Mancini, Adam Jones and Colby Rasmus are locks. It appears Craig Gentry and Danny Valencia -- who could be the utility player -- have made the team as well as Rule 5 Draft pick Anthony Santander. That leaves Alex Presley or Pedro Alvarez, with the possibility that the Orioles make a waiver-wire pickup.

Hays, ranked as the No. 23 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, played in 15 spring games and posted a .243/.275/.297 line in the Grapefruit League.

"I know we did it with Trey a couple years ago," Showalter said of sending Hays to Double-A. "[He's got] some things to finish off. He doesn't really have that many at-bats in Double-A. I'm sure he'll follow a similar path [as Mancini]. Hopefully. It'll be up to him. Still got some work to do like all young players do. We like him a lot."

While Hays impressed last year as a September callup, the signing of Rasmus this spring caused a roster crunch that saw Hays -- who also was slowed by a lat injury -- as the odd man out.

"There's some things they exploited last year. I think he knows what he's got to do," Showalter said of Hays returning to the big leagues. "If you look at his background it's pretty obvious what he needs to finish off."

Video: PHI@BAL: Hays grounds an RBI single up the middle

Sisco excited for Opening Day
Chance Sisco thought he was going into Showalter's office to discuss with bench coach John Russell a play from Thursday's game. Instead, the Orioles' top catching prospect was given the news: He made the Opening Day roster.

"That was a big turn of events in that conversation," Sisco said of Russell's news. "After that, I was just smiling. They were saying congrats."

Sisco batted .419/.471/.839 in 17 spring games, and his presence gives the Orioles a much-needed left-handed bat. There's no word on how much playing time Sisco will get behind Caleb Joseph, though the 23-year-old was excited just to head north with the big league club.

Now in the Majors, Sisco knows the work doesn't stop. To that end, he'll continue to work closely with Russell on becoming more defensive-minded.

"I feel like I definitely made strides with pitch calling, working with the pitchers, blocking and receiving. Even throwing got a little better," Sisco said. "That's what I want to keep working on. Obviously, I want to keep working on everything, but I want to be able to throw guys out consistently. Who doesn't? No one wants guys to steal on them as a catcher. That's a huge thing that I want to be able to do. I think I can do it, it's just a matter of reps and being consistent with it."

Video: BOS@BAL: Sisco drills a two-run homer to left field

Worth noting
• Right-hander Alex Cobb will accompany the team to Baltimore for the Opening Day festivities Thursday. Cobb is expected to get stretched out with one of the Orioles' Minor League teams.

• Infielder Tim Beckham will not play again this spring, though that's more of a precautionary reason. Showalter said reports on Beckham's minor groin injury were improved on Saturday and the team will make a final decision on his availability at Wednesday's workout in Baltimore.

• Right-hander Andrew Cashner will start Monday's exhibition game at Triple-A Norfolk.

What's next
Rule 5 pick Nestor Cortes Jr. will start the Grapefruit League finale on Sunday in Clearwater against the Phillies. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m. ET (watch live on MLB.TV).

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

Baltimore Orioles, Chris Davis