What's the plan with Chris Davis?
-- Bill S., Arlington, Va.
Davis, who was benched over the weekend as he tries to work his way out of an early-season slump, should be back in the lineup on Tuesday. The Angels are sending right-hander Nick Tropeano to the hill, which presumably means Davis' left-handed bat will return.
That's the short-term answer. What do the Orioles do in the long haul, though, if Davis continues to struggle? That's where things get tricky. Davis has vowed to be more aggressive this year. He's been tried out at leadoff and moved up and down the order. So far, nothing has worked. The Orioles committed a club record deal to Davis before the 2016 season, and he's struggled to perform since.
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Manager Buck Showalter told reporters on Sunday that "it's eating" at Davis to not get it done at the plate. For now, they have to hope the time off was a welcome reprieve. The Angels are sending lefty Andrew Heaney to the the mound on Wednesday. Davis, who is 1-for-18 against southpaws this season, is going to have to figure out a way to contribute regardless of who is on the mound.
Too early to panic about Alex Cobb?
-- Heather R., Columbia, Md.
I think so. The right-hander certainly hasn't been what the Orioles expected when they committed a four-year contract to him, but Cobb didn't get a Spring Training. He has gotten better each time out, and while I think the window is closing on blaming his late start to the season, I'd be surprised if he didn't start to revert back to his normal self in Anaheim.
Keep in mind, Cobb didn't even make a single start in the Minors. He basically went from extended spring training and simulated games to the Majors. If he's still not right in another few starts, then it's time to worry.
Will Mark Trumbo be added on Tuesday? If so, who goes [in his place]?
-- Jeff F., Washington, D.C.
Trumbo returning against the Angels is the plan, though to say there are a lot of things up in the air for the O's would be putting it mildly. They'll have to check on Luis Sardinas' back -- he's expected to go on the disabled list -- and Danny Valencia's hamstring, which was enough to scratch him on Sunday. Pedro Alvarez initially looked like the guy to go for Trumbo, but Sardinas' status makes it an easy move. Also, Alvarez has been red-hot at the plate and isn't going anywhere.
The Orioles also optioned outfielder Joey Rickard to Triple-A Norfolk after Sunday's game, so they could potentially be adding another infielder to take Sardinas' spot. The off-days should help keep the pitching from being overworked, though that's always a concern and the Orioles, who were finally back at a four-man bench, will continue to monitor that.
Why is no one talking about how good Richard Bleier has been?
-- Dennis M., Lancaster, Pa.
Well now we are, so I'm glad you asked! Seriously though, Bleier has been terrific. The 31-year-old was an under-the-radar pickup during last year's Spring Training, and it's tough to imagine where the Orioles' bullpen would be without him. The lone lefty in the 'pen for most of the year, Bleier pitches to contact and doesn't strike out a lot of guys, but -- most importantly -- he keeps the ball in the ballpark and has had terrific results with the O's. Since joining the Orioles' bullpen at the start of the 2017 season, Bleier has a 1.69 ERA over 69 appearances.