Rangers fans have had an interesting relationship with Chris Davis. Last season, he opened the year as the starting first baseman and was eventually usurped by Justin Smoak, who was traded later as a chip in the Cliff Lee deal. Davis, who turns 25 this month, played first in the 2008 season and picked up 17 home runs and 55 RBIs in 80 appearances. In 2009, he played 113 games with 21 homers and 59 batted in but had 150 strikeouts. He started the 2010 season and played only 45 games; fans and analysts were quick to dismiss him. The organization, however, was content sending him to the minors again for some seasoning and definitely were not prepared to send him down the river, and for good reason.
This spring, Davis has been impressive – Sunday, against the Brewers, he went 3-for-4 with three hits, a two-run homer and three batted in. Chris has been playing third base in March with the Beltre injury and has batted .421 so far. Let’s play the hypothetical game: what if Davis keeps this pace up and continues to dominate the spring? At this point, there are 2 third basemen on staff if you count Michael Young, and Mitch Moreland has clearly been positioned as the Rangers first baseman. At designated hitter, there is Mike Napoli, which the Rangers signed in the off season and Young who will also DH at times when he isn’t helping out the infield. First base, third base and designated hitter are all full so truly the only chance to make the big league roster would be on the bench.
What to do with Chris Davis? A trade is a definite option, but teams would be quick to try to under pay for a 1st baseman with a high strikeout rate. I would look for Jon Daniels and company to try to showcase him this spring, send him to AAA Round Rock and wait for the right opportunity. It is a long season however and throughout the course of 162 games, Davis could find his way back into the big leagues.