Chris Davis came off the bench a week ago and was the hero in the Orioles 6-4 win over the White Sox. Davis blasted a three-run homer 399 feet to right field and the O’s walked off victorious in what appeared to be a very 2013-type moment.
Since that at-bat however, Davis has gone just 2 for his last 17. He is hitting just .130 over his last 16 games.
So what should the Orioles do with Chris Davis? How can they get him back the middle of the order power hitter they’re depending on him being?
This week on the BSR Podcast (released on Tuesday), we chatted about that very topic. Our solution: another DL stint.
Davis has admitted to playing through lingering oblique soreness. He was placed on the DL with an oblique strain on April 26 and because he closely resembles the Incredible Hulk, he returned on May 11. Perhaps his rushed return has contributed to his low offensive numbers this season.
In my recent column on MASNSports.com, I discussed Davis’ crazy low BABIP and what may be causing it.
Some of that can be blamed on hitting ground balls into the shift, while some can be blamed on Davis simply hitting fly balls to the deepest part of the ballpark. Last season, 36 percent of the fly balls he hit were to center field. In 2014, he’s hitting 47 percent of his fly balls there. We just haven’t seen the opposite field power this season that we saw in 2013. A year ago, Davis hit 14 home runs to left field, he’s hit just two this season.
Another DL stint will not only allow Davis to rest his obviously injured oblique, but will also give Buck Showalter the ability to get Delmon Young some more consistent playing time. And that’s something I’ve been admittedly demanding. Young, a 28 year old former first overall draft pick, has slashed .330/.355/462 in just 110 plate appearances with the Birds this season. I want to see if that’s for real or if he’s just a kick ass bench player.
With Davis out, Steve Pearce could play first and Young could be used in left field or as a DH, alternating of course with Nelson Cruz.
More than anything, DL’ing Davis would be important for the Orioles big picture success this season. As my esteemed podcast co-host Patrick Guthrie points out, in games the Orioles have won this season, Davis has slashed .273/.393/.609 with 11 homers and 31 RBI. In their losses, he’s hit just .159/.279/.346 with two homers and 10 RBI. Based on those stats, you could argue that a healthy Davis is critical for the Orioles to succeed.
Image Credit: Keith Allison