Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis considered walking away from the game last year and doesn’t see himself as a part-time player.
It may be only the first day of full-squad workouts for the Baltimore Orioles, and a holiday Monday, but there was still notable news out of camp Monday morning.
Speaking with reporters at his locker before today’s workout, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis touched on a number of topics, including his offseason workout strategy, his expectations for 2020, and how he talked with his wife, Jill Davis, about walking away from the game after the 2019 season.
Responses among fans have been deservedly intense, to the say least. You can read the full transcription of the Chris Davis interview here at MASNSports.com.
Davis focuses a lot on his 25-pound weight gain after working out with former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Craig Gentry over the offseason. According to Davis, he didn’t work on revamping his swing or making any mechanical changes, but believes a lot of his struggles come from his weight loss, “eye stuff”, and “stretching stuff.”
"“I think any time that I feel like I can drive the ball out of the ballpark at any point in time, one, that knowledge has given me a confidence boost, but it allows me to go out there and take an easy swing. And when I start trying to gear up and overpower the baseball, it’s when I start getting out of rhythm and kind of getting out of whack and it has always worked against me.”"
If we were looking at a few extended droughts here and there, I would possibly buy this argument, but Davis’ desire to be more than a “below-average, well-below-average producer at the plate” will have to rely on more than just doing the same thing at the plate with a few extra stretches and “eye stuff.”
Davis also still considers himself an everyday player, but from 2017-2019, Chris Davis ranks dead last among all qualified major league hitters with a -4.5 fWAR. Albert Pujols comes in second at -2.6 fWAR and only eight players in all of baseball have a combined negative fWAR during that timespan.
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Davis owns a slash line of .188/.276/.350 with 54 home runs and a league-high 37.6% strikeout rate from 2017-’19. It’s been clear for a long time that Davis is not an everyday player, despite his want and feeling that isn’t a part-time player, even at this stage of his career.
The Orioles first baseman says he will re-evaluate at the end of the year and have the same discussion with his family about whether or not he should walk away from his contract and the game of baseball.
I genuinely feel for Chris Davis and will never be one to boo him, no matter how long he sticks around and struggles with this team, but have we reached the point where Orioles general manager Mike Elias and ownership have to pull the plug themselves and cut him? That decision seems inevitable as a number of young prospects demand more playing at the major league level and Davis’ roster spot becomes needed for the better of the future of the organization, not satisfying a veteran’s desire to prove people wrong for a third-straight season.
Davis was on the field for workouts today, taking groundballs at first base.