Slumping Davis benched indefinitely by O's

Corban Joseph picks up first hit since 2013 in his place

June 15th, 2018
Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis walks off the field after grounding out during a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox, Monday, June 11, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)Patrick Semansky/AP

BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis will play again for the Orioles. But no one is exactly sure when that may be.

The 32-year-old slugger missed his third consecutive game on Friday and manager Buck Showalter said that Davis' return isn't imminent. The team is giving Davis, who is batting .150 with 86 strikeouts and four homers in 57 games, time to try something new, in hopes that it will spark a turnaround to his season.

Showalter said he doesn't expect Davis' absence to last a week or two, but the Orioles are not putting a timetable on his return. He is available if "the team needs what he can bring" off the bench, though it seemed obvious Showalter would be hesitant to use him.

Davis, who has a $23 million annual salary that includes four more seasons beyond 2018, is on pace to have one of the worst offensive seasons in Major League history. The Orioles can't send him to the Minor Leagues without his permission and -- besides absorbing the entirety of his contract -- don't have a whole lot of other options.

The O's promoted infielder from Double-A Bowie to play first base in Davis' place. They used the roster spot of Yefry Ramirez, who made a spot start on Wednesday but doesn't have a place with starter due back next week.

Joseph, who singled to right field in the fourth inning of Friday's 2-0 loss to the Marlins, finished 1-for-4 as the leadoff hitter.

The 29-year-old is the youngest brother of Orioles catcher (who is currently with Triple-A Norfolk). Caleb made the Opening Day roster and has been a regular fixture with Baltimore over the past few years while Corban has played one day in the Majors as part of a doubleheader with the Yankees in 2013.

What would Corban have said if someone told him this spring he'd be with the O's and Caleb would not be?

"I would have probably said that you were a liar," Corban said. "It's been a crazy offseason and a crazy year so far. I'm very blessed that the Orioles gave me an opportunity to come to camp and be where I am today. It's just amazing.

"I would have loved to have [Caleb] here. I know he's taking care of business in Norfolk and he's doing what he needs to be doing. It's just a matter of time before he gets back up. I'm looking forward to him coming back up and hopefully we can be in the same locker room."