After the Josh Hamilton injury this week, the Texas Rangers have called up Chris Davis. Davis, a left-handed first baseman, who has had multiple chances to stay in the big leagues. This spring Davis was told he would be competing for the first base position, quickly Davis was made aware of the club’s intentions for Mitch Moreland to be the primary starter. During the spring, some controversy was raised where Davis told media outlets that if he wasn’t going to be a starter on the Rangers roster, they should trade him to a team who needs him. Shortly after making the comments, Davis backtracked somewhat and folded into the “what is best for the team” mantra.
I’m on record as saying that Chris should have made the club. As always I am no way qualified to make such a decision (just a loud fan), but Davis earned a position. This spring Davis worked hard and put up impressive numbers. In 58 at bats Davis accumulated 21 hits and 5 home runs. His strikeouts were high at 17 but decreased from previous springs. Chris Davis’ most impressive stat was his OPS (On Base plus Slugging),which many experts are using as a better evaluation of a player than batting average. A good OPS is .800 and up, Davis had a 1.128 OPS this spring, impressive to say the least. To be fair to Moreland, he put up similar, if not slightly better numbers than Davis, and clearly earned his position. In the end it was postseason experience that Moreland gained last season, that gave him the edge and the job.
Back to Josh Hamilton, after his crushing injury this week the team was left without a powerful left-handed bat. This is what Davis can bring to the table. Yes, we have all seen the frequent strikeout version of Chris Davis, but it’s time the club give him another shot to make it on the big club. So far this season at AAA Round Rock, Davis has dominated. In five games and 21 at bats Davis already has 4 home runs, three of those coming in a single game. Davis has a batting average of .429 and an OPS of 1.530. Davis currently leads the Pacific Coast League in Home Runs, Slugging, and OPS. Many have called Davis an AAAA player, which is to say he fits somewhere between Triple-A and the Majors.
I’m not overlooking the past of Chris Davis, only saying he needed at least one other opportunity with the big club. The popular argument against him coming up was that the Rangers have two outfielders in Round Rock who could have replaced him, Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry. Chavez has performed well for the Express this season, and is a left-handed bat, but doesn’t have the power that Davis has. Gentry who is a righty, has been productive this season in Round Rock but doesn’t have the numbers that Davis and Chavez have. Ultimately the club needed a big left-handed bat to sub in for Hamilton. No one can replace the AL-MVP but Davis can fill in for a bit.
Personally I feel this was a good call, I look forward to seeing Davis in the chances he gets. It seems Davis won’t be an everyday player while he is with the Rangers. Hopefully he can make the most of his opportunity, and at the very least put up numbers that make him attractive to other teams.