Nothing is going right for Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. Don’t expect anything to improve, either.
Don’t try to convince me that Chris Davis is an asset to the Baltimore Orioles. If you believe the beat writers who get paid by the team to make them look good, I can’t help you. Maybe you’re in desperate need for a Charm City superhero, and refuse to give up on his 2013 season when he smashed 53 home runs, posted a 168 wRC+, and 7.0 WAR. “But he’s making more contact this year and not striking out as much.” Go sit down, please. This relationship was over a long time ago, and it’s time to stop trying convince ourselves that a few “I’m sorrys” will fix this.
Manager Buck Showalter had this to say about Chris Davis after Monday night’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, in which the offense wasted a gem by starting pitcher Dylan Bundy,
“ Don’t ever assume someone doesn’t care. Chris, he’s frustrated right now. He wants to contribute every at-bat. You can tell, even bunting there. He’s just trying to make a contribution. It’s frustrating for him.” (Per MASN.com’s Roch Kubatko)
Meh. It’s not that he doesn’t care; no one is arguing that. He’s 3-34 (.088 average) to start the season. Of those three hits, one was a solo-home run against the Yankees. Davis has a wOBA of .190 and a wRC+ of 14 (you want to be above 100) through the first three weeks of the season. Only 20% of his contact has registered as “hard contact.” Normally, Davis hovers around 40-41%.
Opposing pitchers have been showing him more cutters and sliders than he normally sees, and it’s painfully obvious Davis can’t handle them. Davis even attempted a swinging bunt that resulted in one of the easiest defensive plays a pitcher can field. This Chris Davis bat smash is exactly how we all feel.
Only six hitters in major league baseball have a worse batting average at the moment, and his -0.3 WAR is only 0.2 points ahead of the league’s worst in the category: Stephen Piscotty, Justin Bour, and Dustin Fowler.
Over the last three seasons, Davis has taken a significant dip in every offensive category. His on-base percentage went from .361 to .309 last season. His slugging percentage is down to .423 from .562. It’s not just his offense, either. His defensive rating has dipped from -7.9 to -11.1, and already sits at -0.5 in 2018.
With the Orioles having to pay Davis $23 million a year through 2022, there isn’t much the team can do. No team in baseball will take on his contract, and deservedly so. If the Orioles really want to put an entertaining and winning product on the field, they’re going to have to eat a lot of money, cut ties, and move on.
Moving Trey Mancini over to first base and bringing up top prospect Austin Hays to play in the outfield would not only give the Orioles a better chance to win, but would make the game more enjoyable for fans. Attendance is abysmal, and fans aren’t happy. The relationship is dead, Birdland. Move on.