BALTIMORE -- As the Orioles prepare to start the second half of the season against the Chicago Cubs July 14, they'll have a major asset back.
First baseman Chris Davis is scheduled to be activated from the 10-day disabled list. Davis hasn't played since June 13 with a strained right oblique.
In two rehab games this week with Class-A Frederick and Low-A Delmarva, Davis was 1-for-8 with a double, three strikeouts and a walk. He played first base for the Keys in their July 10 game and was the designated hitter for the Shorebirds July 12.
"It was big for me to get into game action," Davis said at the Orioles' workout July 13. "What it was going to be like to move around, do stuff at game speed and twist and turn and do all the stuff that I'm going to have to do. I was happy with the way I felt. I'm ready to roll."
Davis is batting .226 with 14 home runs and 26 RBIs. Without him, Trey Mancini played first base, and now he'll return to left field. Even though Davis hadn't been hitting well, he was missed around the team.
"I think his presence, more than anything, what he's capable of," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's been a tough time for Chris, because, like he was telling me the other day, it's like your buddy's in a fight, and you can't help him. That's what bothered him, having to watch games. But he's got a lot of stuff behind now. He's been cautious with it. Hopefully he'll get repaid for his patience."
At 42-46, the Orioles are four games out of the second wild-card spot after four days off.
"There's definitely a little bit of an advantage coming back when everybody's had time to recharge, kind of start over again," Davis said.
"... I think it's just important for us to get started on the right foot and to get some momentum going to start the second half," Davis said. "Obviously we've played well at times in the first half and we didn't play very well at other times, but I think it's big for us to kind of get the ball rolling in the right direction starting [July 14]."
While Davis is returning to action, shortstop J.J. Hardy saw a hand specialist for his broken right wrist July 12 and hopes he will return to baseball activities by the end of the month.
"The way they're saying it, these next couple of weeks are going to be kind of slow," Hardy said. "But once we get over that hump, then it will move fast. … It's hard to put a date on it."
In other injury news, infielder Ryan Flaherty, who's on the 60-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury, participated in the workout. Showalter expected him to be cleared to return to full baseball activities.
Right-handers Mike Wright and Stefan Crichton, who are both on the 10-day DL with shoulder injuries, are participating in throwing programs in Sarasota, Fla.
Showalter excused second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who played in the All-Star Game July 11 , from the workout.
NOTES: The Orioles will start right-hander Kevin Gausman, left-hander Wade Miley and right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez this weekend against the Chicago Cubs. … Fans attending the Cubs series should bring a non-perishable food item or cash donation to support the Maryland Food Bank. … Right-hander Dylan Bundy is scheduled to start July 18 against Texas, and Showalter said he's got a plan for Bundy into September allowing for the possibility of extra rest. "He'll pitch every fifth day for a while, but when the off-days come up, you may see a little change in it. We'll see how he feels," Showalter said.