Results tagged ‘ Chris Davis ’

Baltimore Orioles: Can Chris Davis regain his stroke?

One of the biggest questions surrounding the Baltimore Orioles in 2019 will be whether or not Chris Davis can improve his offensive output. Davis’ current contract, worth $161 million, is the largest in team history. It hasn’t paid off as of yet per se.

If Davis can turn things around, the “new administration” will immediately get props from the fan base. But either way, that’a a big if. Davis is doing his part however, as he’s changing up his workout regiment this off season. Davis has been working out in Texas for the past month or so. The hope is that he can regain the stroke he had a few years ago.

But what if he does regain some sort of power? That obviously bodes well for the O’s, but what would that mean for the rebuild? Odds are it would mean that the young hitters around him would become better in shorter time. No pressure there for Davis.

Baltimore Orioles: Hindsight is 20/20 with Chris Davis

The Chris Davis contract has become one of the most scrutinized in Baltimore Orioles’ history. Especially when the alleged contract that’s been offered to Manny Machado by the Chicago White Sox amounts to approximately $2 million a year more than what Davis is making with the Orioles. That’s certainly not lost on the fan base.

However hindsight is always 20/20. At the time the Davis contract was inked, there was legitimate fear amongst fans and team officials that one of the best sluggers in the league would leave Baltimore. And yes, at the time Davis was considered one of the best sluggers in baseball. The contract was widely applauded by fans and analysts alike. Nobody could have predicted that the bottom would fall out on Davis when it did.

We’re also talking about a different time. Yes for the Orioles, but also for the league. That Chris Davis contract might well end up being one of the last massive long-term deals. Teams aren’t as willing to commit big time dollars over a long period of time. Granted the Machado deal that’s on the table in Chicago is bigger. But it’s a far cry from the ten years, $400 million that he was seeking.

Ultimately, it’s unfair to judge the past by the standards of the present. Furthermore, the final chapter on Chris Davis in Baltimore doesn’t have to have been written yet. Things can always improve. And if the new regime in Baltimore has anything to do with it, perhaps in fact they will.

Baltimore Orioles: Will the fans stand behind the 2019 Birds?

As it stands now, the 2019 Baltimore Orioles appear to be void of any star power. Certainly there are a few familiar names, such as Chris Davis. Four or five years ago he would have been considered a star. But odds are that’s not the case any longer – at least not for now.

He’s not the only familiar name. Orioles fans will also recognize the Mancini’s, Bundy’s, and Trumbo’s of the world. And a few others. However there’s a difference between familiar players and stars. For years it’s been Adam Jones‘ team. He was the star. Until further notice, there’s no real star on this team.

And that make no mistake that there’s still an upside to that. Because that means that the next true Orioles’ star could be anyone. At this point it appears that time, fate, or consequence will decide who that’s going to be. It’ll happen organically.

However there is a concern and quite frankly a risk on the part of the organization. Most fans and analysts alike applauded the Orioles for the rebuilding effort. Both in deciding to do it, and how it’s been done to this point. But will fans respond in kind at the box office?

That’s the age old question. There is a certain mindset amongst some people that if they’re going to see (what temporarily could be deemed) minor league talent with no star power, they may as well use their entertainment dollars by going to Keys or Baysox games. Time will tell, but hopefully the fans remain constant and accepting of the process – and turn out to see this team play.

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis, Scott Boras, and Mike Elias

Chris Davis was a glaring and gaping hole in the lineup of the 2018 Baltimore Orioles. This much we know. Davis hit a career low .168 at the plate, with only 16 home runs. His presence on the 2019 team runs contrary to what the Orioles are trying to do. However his contract guarantees his presence on the roster.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. I suppose it is if Davis can’t rekindle some of his previous form, however he’s also been known to this point as a clubhouse leader. Not to mention that he still has a very sure glove at first base. That’s not to say that he doesn’t commit errors here and there, but there are much worse first basemen out there than Chris Davis.

According to Davis’ agent Scott Boras, he met with Orioles’ GM Mike Elias on Tuesday evening to discuss Davis, and his hopeful resurrgence this coming year. That should come as welcome news for Orioles’ fans, as a Chris Davis getting back to form would help the team moving forward. Elias has already said that he would be involved in Davis’ off season training program, something that Davis apparently welcomed. However it’s unclear what Boras and Elias discussed – other than simply that they’re looking to get Davis’ production back up.

If we’re able to pencil Davis as a big bat back into the middle of the Orioles’ lineup, that’s only going to help the youngsters around him. The Mancini’s and Mullins’ of the world will benefit greatly. If Davis can raise his average and overall production back to semi-acceptable levels, the Orioles WILL win more than 46 games in 2019. That much I can all but guarantee.

Today’s the final day of the Winter Meetings, and all signs point to the franchise introducing a new manager at some point in the near future. Probably next week. However Elias will also choose the best player on the board at this morning’s Rule 5 draft. We know the routine by now – that player must be on the Orioles’ roster for the entire season or they’re sent back to their original organization. 

While it’s been somewhat of a running joke in terms of how much the Orioles have used the Rule 5 draft over the years under Dan Duquette, they’ve also potentially gotten more production out of Rule 5 players than any other franchise in history. Some of those players actually played for the O’s in postseason games. How unlikely is that to happen?! Needless to say, it’ll be interestin to see who they select.

Baltimore Orioles: What to do about Chris Davis?

Chris Davis (along with Mark Trumbo) finds himself in the strange position of being a holdover from the Baltimore Orioles’ former administration. This in the new era of Mike Elias. Davis, like him or hate him, will be one of the lone familiar faces to fans on the roster.

In his introductory remarks on Monday, GM Mike Elias said that he felt the Orioles would be best served by having a resurgent Chris Davis in the middle of the lineup. Most fans, along with myself, couldn’t agree more. However 2018 wouldn’t have been the disaster that it was had the Birds gotten that. Does Elias believe it’s possible for Davis to have a bounceback year?

Without going into detail we’ve already been over, Chris Davis had a historically bad season in 2018. So by the definition of the term, he should have a bounceback year next season. It would be hard to replicate or outdo the poor performance of 2018. However what would it take for that to happen?

The answer for now is that I really don’t know. Elias said that he wanted to be involved in Davis’ off season regiment of workouts which he’ll indubitably be doing as time goes on, but in reality the best Davis can do is to simply try to get better. That means seeing the ball better more than anything else. And that’s just something at which one has to consistently work.

With the rebuild the Orioles are attempting however, a powerful Davis will go along way. If he’s hitting under the Mendoza Line and constantly being scrutinized in the media, younger players might stay away from him. However if he’s pulling his weight at the plate, they will look to him, and see him a the leader that we all know he can be.

Point being, it’s not just production on the field. Davis (and Trumbo) are going to be called upon to show young players what it means to be an Oriole, and a major league player. Their performances on the field will go a long way towards easing that process.

Baltimore Orioles: How might a new regime handle Chris Davis?

I’m on record as saying that the Baltimore Orioles did the best they could with first baseman Chris Davis in 2018. Davis’ contract meant that they really couldn’t cut him. He spent some time on the bench, but DFAing him would have been a different story.

But what about next year? A new GM and a new manager will replace Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette. Showalter specifically we know is loyal to the bone, which many feel is why Davis was in the lineup as often as he was this past year. His contract certainly played a role also.

And the contract situation will continue regardless of who’s in charge. If the Orioles cut/DFA him, they’re still on the hook for his salary (unless they were able to trade him). Even if another team picks him up – the Orioles would be paying him to play for someone else. Also keep in mind that some of the payments are deferred until well after the contract ends.

Needless to say, a new regime isn’t going to be quite as loyal to a holdover from the old regime. And that’s in essence what Davis would be – a holdover. That isn’t to say that he would be cut. I’m not sure that the Angelos family would be happy wasting resources like that.

But would he play as often or as long? Tough to say. Just another in a long line of questions that will be posed to the new guys when they arrive.

Baltimore Orioles: Big seventh inning lifts Birds in Seattle

We hear teams like the Baltimore Orioles say all the time that you want to stay out of the big inning. That’s very true – when you’re in the field, that is. When you’re at bat, you certainly want a big inning. And last night Alex Cobb was the beneficiary of a big inning that the Orioles manufactured, on their way to a 5-3 victory in Seattle. Cobb’s line: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

Cobb gave up a solo homer to Cano in the first inning. Other than that he pitched out of everything into which he got himself. And there weren’t many situations of note, I might add. All he needed was some run support. And he got it in the top of the seventh.

The Birds started off by tying the game on a solo homer by Renato NunezJonathan Villar‘s RBI-single later in the inning would give the Birds a 2-1 lead. Joey Rickard would add a sac fly-RBI, and Trey Mancini‘s RBI-double capped off the inning. When the smoke had cleared, the Orioles led 4-1.

I’m not sure what qualifies as a “big inning,” but four runs is decent enough. And it’s also something that’s alluded the Orioles for much of the season. Not only did it pick up their starter, but the fact that it occurred in the seventh limited the amount of time that Seattle had to come back.

They did net two runs on a force out and throwing error in the last of the eighth, which made things interesting to say the least. However Chris Davis added an RBI-single which acted as an insurance run in the ninth. Seattle went quietly in the last of the ninth to close out the Orioles’ 5-3 victory.

This was a good win for a young team to grind out. It’s unclear whether or not some semblance of this group is going to be the lineup into the distant future. Heck, it’s unclear if this group is going to be the lineup going into spring training next year. But they showed some grit in battling in this game the way that they did.

They also showed some spark in that seventh inning in terms of putting some runs on the board. Alex Cobb wasn’t perfect, but he put his team in a spot to win. And finally he was rewarded. For what it’s worth, with this victory the Orioles have officially surpassed the 1962 Mets’ win total. In other words, they won’t challenge for the worst record ever over a 162-game schedule.

The O’s will attempt to take the series from Seattle this evening in the finale at Safeco Field. Andrew Cashner gets the start for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by Seattle’s Mike Leake. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

Baltimore Orioles fight hard but fall to New York

It’s tough to fault the Baltimore Orioles for losing to the creme de la creme teams when they fight hard. And that’s exactly what they did last night against New York at Camden Yards. Alex Cobb turned in a quality start, but ultimately it wouldn’t be enough. Cobb’s line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 6 K.

It was Chris Davis who gave the Orioles the lead early on. The Birds got a couple of runners on base early, and Davis’ two-RBI single gave them a 2-0 lead. And that held up for a couple of innings, that is until Voit smacked a two-run homer in the third to tie the game.

The frustrating part about Voit and his production last night is that he’s one of these “never before heard of” guys. He came to New York in a minor deal with the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29th – a deal that barely got a sentence in reporting it. Yet here he is tearing up the Orioles last night.

The Birds however would break the tie in the last of the seventh with a two-run homer off the bat of Jonathan Villar. However of course New York would come back immediately – of course they did. From the Orioles’ standpoint at least. Torres’ two-RBI single in the eighth inning tied the game back up at four. The O’s were able to get the lead back, but in their next immediate turn at the plate New York tied it back up.

And New York’s coup de grace came after the game went into extra innings. They smacked two homers in the top of the tenth inning, including a two-run shot by Voit. Again, the guy was traded in a very minor move to New York, and here he is ripping up the Orioles. Voit is in his second big league season; yet he smacked two homers against a team he’s never faced, and in a park at which he’s never played. That’s about par for the course for the Orioles this season.

Chris Davis would smack a solo homer in the last of the tenth, but it was too little too late. Again, it’s tough to fault the Orioles in a game whereby they fought hard. Especially against a team that has it’s sights set on the post season. But them’s the breaks, as they say.

The series continues this afternoon at Camden Yards with game one of a doubleheader. Jimmy Yacabonis is coming up from the minors to make the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by NY’s J.A. Happ. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Chris Davis leads Birds over N.Y. Mets

Chris Davis had to have been tired of being mentioned in a negative light for the Baltimore Orioles. It’s certainly been a tough season for everyone involved, however for none more so than Davis. But at least for one day he could go to bed knowing that he made a difference for his team in a positive manner.

Andrew Casher even stuck around long enough to get the win, which is more than many Orioles’ starters have done of late. Cashner’s line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 3 K. The Orioles gave Cashner the lead in the fourth inning on a sac fly-RBI by Mark Trumbo. However one inning later New York got twin RBI-singles and took a 2-1 lead. Were the Birds getting nitpicked to death again?

And the answer was no. Adam Jones tied the game with a solo home run in the sixth inning. And one inning later that brought Davis to the plate, and he connected with a solo homer of his own. That gave the Orioles the lead bad at 3-2. And it would be a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

Later in that seventh inning the O’s would also get an RBI-single from Renato Nunez, as well as a two-run homer from Tim Beckham in the eighth. Frazier’s RBI-single in the ninth would cut the Birds’ lead to 6-3, which ended up being the final. With the win, the Orioles snapped a five-game losing streak, which incidentally included that four-game sweep over the weekend at the hands of Boston.

You always hope for the player’s sake that something like hitting the go-ahead home run is going to break Chris Davis of his poor season. However at this point odds are against that. But Davis is still churning away as best he can for this season, and in fact he probably does have the right mental approach (quote courtesy of Zachary Silver, mlb.com):

I think it’s really about taking it one at-bat at a time. Not getting too high or too low. Not trying to hit a home run, but just going up there and trying to be a hitter. I think it’s too easy a lot of times to get caught up in the negative and sometimes even to get caught up in the positive and let your guard down. For me, I want to finish up strong. I want to work on some things and go into the offseason with a head of steam.

The series with the N.Y. Mets concludes this evening at Camden Yards. Dylan Bundy gets the starting assignment for the Birds, and he’ll be opposed by New York’s Zack Wheeler. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

Baltimore Orioles: Mistakes cost the Birds

In the nightcap of yesterday’s doubleheader, the Baltimore Orioles paid dearly for mistakes. Chris Davis made a base running gaffe (possibly twice over) early in the game, which cost the Orioles a run. And later on, we saw a fairly inventive strike zone by the home plate umpire that could have helped squash an Oriole rally.

Yefry Ramirez got the start, and delivered another outing with mixed results. Ramirez’s line: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K. Not a horrible outing, however the Orioles seems to be set on Ramirez only pitching five innings or so. Either that, or that’s all Ramirez is capable of pitching at this point.

Renato Nunez‘s RBI-double in the last of the second gave the O’s a 1-0 lead. One inning later the O’s would extend that lead to 2-0 on Trey Mancini‘s RBI-single. However it was what occurred in the wake of that Nunez double in the second that was an issue. Later in the inning with Davis on third and nobody out, Mullins grounded out in the infield. The infield was back, which indicated that Boston was giving up a run in favor of an out.

Davis could have and would have scored on that play. But…he froze at third base. And to top it off, the next hitter popped out in foul territory. Davis possibly could have tagged up and scored from third with one out. But again…he froze at third base. The Orioles should have netted an extra run in some manner during that sequence.

And in typical fashion, Boston made the Orioles pay. Martinez smacked a solo homer in the fourth, and Butler tied it in the fifth with a sac fly-RBI. Boston would later take a 3-2 lead in the sixth on a wild pitch.

However Joey Rickard gave the Orioles the lead back in the last of the sixth with a solo homer. But Boston answered – Martinez smacked his second homer of the game in the eighth, this one of the two-run variety. And they added on, thanks to Holt’s ninth inning RBI-single. The Birds mounted a late rally that included a Mancini ninth inning solo homer, but it was too little too late. The Birds fell 6-4.

The O’s appeared poised to rally in the last of the eighth. They had two outs and two runners in scoring position. Jace Peterson was at the plate; he took a 2-1 pitch that looked to be about a foot off the plate…and it was called strike two. Peterson and the entire Orioles’ bench seemed fazed by that. The next pitch (on 2-2) was to the exact same spot, and Peterson swung and missed, ending the inning.

That one strike call changed the potential of the inning. Peterson went from being in control of the at-bat, to in essence being on the ropes. If you combine the potential of what could have occurred there with the missed opportunities to score in the second, the outcome of this game could have been very different. Buck Showalter addressed Chris Davis’ base running after the game (quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports):

Yeah, Chris knows that. I was trying to get an explanation from Bobby (Dickerson. I don’t know if they thought the pitcher was going to cut the ball off. Great job by Cedric. What a great at-bat. You’re getting ready to have a man at third and one out and he executed it fine. Chris just got a bad read on it.

The other one, Bobby said that they thought it had a chance to fall and they respected Betts. In fact, some people might tell you he might have been out anyway if he tagged and went, but I don’t know. I haven’t looked at it. But Bobby said that from his perspective they felt like the ball had a chance to be fair, even though it ended up five or six feet foul. But every ball that stays in the air very long, you expect Betts to catch. But it’s a situation we’d like to score a run there. We should.

The series with Boston concludes this afternoon at Camden Yards. Alex Cobb gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Boston’s Chris Sale. Game time is set for just after 1 PM.

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