Debuting for the first time as a member of the Texas Rangers this past weekend, Khris Davis had a rather eventful first bit of action. He showcased some early signs of offensive power, he saw some time as a pinch-hitter, and he even got a few opportunities to flash his glove on the defensive side of things.
Davis made his first official Rangers appearance on May 8th during the team’s win over the Seattle Mariners. He went 1/1 with a single as a pinch-hitter, coming around to score a run as well.
The following day marked Davis’ first start in a Texas uniform, batting sixth as the team’s designated hitter. Davis went 0-4 with one strikeout and one runner left on base during the Sunday affair, but it ultimately didn’t matter as the team cruised to 10-2 series-clinching win over Seattle.
Davis got the nod as a starter once more on Monday against the San Francisco Giants, this time playing out in left field. Davis was predominately relegated to a “DH only” role during his recent playing years in Oakland, so there were some question marks regarding his overall ability to effectively man the outfield.
However, just a few pitches into the game and Davis was making his presence felt out in left, robbing a would be hit with a diving grab:
Of course, Davis did record one of the worst attempted outfield assists I’ve ever seen in my life later in the ballgame, but let’s just pretend that didn’t happen for the time being.
Taking a look at Khris Davis’ first taste of Texas Rangers baseball.
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On the offensive side of the equation, Davis finished Monday night going 2-4 with a triple off the right field wall. Davis followed that up with a pinch-hit walk against the Giants on Tuesday, concluding his first week of Texas Rangers baseball slashing .333/.400/.556.
Obviously, it’d be utterly foolish to expect that type of production to continue, but it’s a rather good sign that the veteran slugger has been able to (somewhat) hit the ground running this season. The Rangers are still very much in the thick of things when it comes to the AL West, and having another option to turn to in regards to left field and the DH spot should only help them remain competitive.
Ultimately speaking, I think it’s safe to say the Rangers would prefer Davis to *never* see reps out in LF, but in the meantime it’s probably worth the experiment. It helps get Davis into the lineup against National League opponents, and it also allows someone like David Dahl to see some reps at DH once in awhile.
We’ll check back in on Davis in a week or two to see how he’s looking after a larger sample size has been established. Immediate returns are looking promising, though.