The Orioles have placed first baseman Chris Davis on the 60-day injured list with a lower back strain, Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com was among those to report. The team also made the re-signing of left-hander Wade LeBlanc official. LeBlanc is in the mix for the Orioles’ rotation/long man role, while that is no longer the case for lefty Keegan Akin. The O’s optioned Akin, outfielder Jahmai Jones and infielder Richie Martin, per Steve Melewski of MASNsports.com, and they reassigned lefty Fernando Abad and first baseman/outfielder Chris Shaw.
Manager Brandon Hyde implied earlier this week that Davis could be headed for the long-term IL, so this news doesn’t come as any kind of surprise. Nevertheless, it’s the latest unfortunate development for the 35-year-old Davis, whose career has been an abject disaster since the Orioles re-signed him to a seven-year, $161MM contract before 2016.
When Davis received his deal, he had established himself as one of the game’s fiercest sluggers, as he smashed 53 home runs in 2013 – his lone All-Star season – and added another 47 in 2015. Davis was a 38-HR hitter in the first year of his deal, though he has totaled a mere 28 (none during an injury-limited 2020) with a .169/251/.299 in 929 trips to the plate since 2018. The Orioles have stuck with Davis during his massive on-field decline, and he still has another year on his contract after this one.