Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis Returns To The Lineup
Chris Davis and his “slightly-above the Mendoza Line average” are back in the lineup for the Baltimore Orioles this evening against Houston. Don’t misinterpret that line as a knock on Davis. There’s no question that he’s as valuable as anyone else to this franchise. I would submit that yesterday’s off day might have done him some good as well. But to this point he hasn’t produced in the manner that the O’s would have expected or wanted.
I would also submit that perhaps the absence of Matt Wieters is playing a role in that as well. Davis doesn’t have the protection in the lineup that he’s had in the past, although he didn’t struggle this much last season without Wieters. But the roster in and of itself is different up and down, so that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison as much as one might think.
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Only time will tell us for sure if the day off did Davis any good, however it’s to the credit of Buck Showalter that he literally gave Davis the entire day off yesterday – no pinch hitting, no running, no nothing. He was as much a spectator as the people who paid to get in. So Davis should return to the lineup well-rested and ready to go – right?
Photo: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Again, time will tell us for sure. One thing I’ve noticed is that Davis is taking a lot of called strikes – and a lot of called third strikes at that. So is this because he’s not seeing the ball and the trajectory thereof properly, or is it something else? I would argue that Davis potentially over-compensates a bit here and there given the number of balls he’s swung through. And in a way that’s understandable.
The bad news for Davis is that this is all occurring in a contract year for him. If he wants the big contract after this season that I know his agent Scott Boras is going to want for him, he’s going to have to start hitting at higher than .212. But the good news for him (Davis) is that the quest for a higher average starts tonight. With the Orioles at Camden Yards again, one has to hope that some of those fly balls from the Miami series might materialize into more.
Davis doesn’t need to be a 53-home run guy. He just needs to get on base and drive runs in at a higher pace than .212. He also has to rely on guys to get on base ahead of him to give him the opportunity to drive runs in. If all of this comes together at once, the Orioles’ offense is going to function much better.
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