After a brutal start to the season, a hot stretch of success, and another cold streak, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis has found his way to the injured list.
As announced by the organization on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, the Baltimore Orioles have placed first baseman Chris Davis on the 10-day Injured List (retroactive to May 25) with left hip inflammation. RHP Evan Phillips has been recalled from AAA Norfolk.
After turning around his historically bad stretch with a .290 batting average between April 13-May 14, Davis has gone just 2-23 in his last seven games, with 16 of those at-bats resulting in a strikeout.
Phillips has been excellent in AAA this year, posting a 1.29 ERA in four appearances, but his major-league numbers when he has been in Baltimore this season have been less than impressive. The 24-year-old owns a 7.11 ERA in his 11 appearances out of the bullpen this season. He also has a 1.89 WHIP with 10 walks in 12.2 innings.
His struggles in the majors this season leave me to look back at my last two articles and ask why Phillips is the move?
With Davis out, this would be the perfect time to get a look at what Ryan Mountcastle can do at the major-league level. Mountcastle has been tearing it up in AAA Norfolk. The top prospect in the Orioles’ organization has posted a .326 batting average with seven home runs and 33 RBIs and is currently on a six-game hitting streak. He would be the perfect fit to fill-in for Davis at first base, at least while Davis is on the disabled list.
I know Elias wants to be patient with his top prospects but at least a look at what his top prospect could do would be a smart move, given the opening at first base. However, as Elias recently stated, he’s going to treat Mountcastle and Keegan Akin a little differently, due to their lack of time at the Triple-A level. That still leaves another move which makes a lot of sense for the Baltimore Orioles.
How about bringing up outfielder DJ Stewart from AAA? Like I mentioned in my article last week, Stewart has been destroying International League pitching and is now hitting .320 with a .487 average in his last 10 games for Norfolk. There is no point in him being in AAA right now. Calling up Stewart and playing Mancini or Nuñez at first would make a lot more sense than recalling a struggling relief pitcher.
I know the tank is on and Elias does not want to pull the trigger on prospects too early but neither of these recalls would be pulling the trigger too early.