Davis sits; slugger's leadoff streak ends at five - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Davis sits; slugger’s leadoff streak ends at five

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Time will tell if the Chris Davis Leadoff Experiment officially ended today, but it is on brief hiatus, regardless.

The Orioles released their lineup for this afternoon’s series finale in Houston and Tim Beckham is leading off against Astros ace lefty Dallas Keuchel.

In fact, Davis, who has led off each of the Orioles’ first five games, isn’t in the lineup at all.

In his career against Keuchel, Davis is 2-for-14 (.143) with one RBI and five strikeouts. In contrast, right-handed hitting Danny Valencia, who is starting at first base Wednesday, is 8-for-22 (.364) with two homers and four RBIs versus Keuchel.

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Given those numbers, Davis taking a seat in an afternoon game against a tough lefty is not that surprising.

But it’s newsworthy because it ends the slugging Davis’s streak of leading off games at five; it’s something he had never done in his 11 seasons in the big leagues before last week.

The experiment hasn’t gone well – Davis was 1-for-20 in the Orioles first five games, walking three times and fanning five times in the leadoff spot. He was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts Tuesday, the Orioles’ fourth loss in five chances.

Manager Buck Showalter wanted to see if using Davis, normally a middle-of-the-order bat, at leadoff would help take pressure of the slugger, cut down on his strikeouts and take advantage of his propensity to walk (a team-leading 61 walks last year and a career .327 OBP mark).

It’s worked in the past, jumpstarting slow patches by Manny Machado and Adam Jones, among others.

Beckham, who has a .308 career on-base percentage, isn’t a typical leadoff man either, but he filled the role 48 times last season (with a .259 average and .302 OBP).

Here is the Orioles’ lineup Wednesday: Beckham 5, Machado 6, Schoop 4, Jones DH, Mancini 7, Valencia 3, Santander 9, Joseph 2, Gentry 8. Bundy 1.

27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. jimcarter

    April 4, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    Buck is so worried about disrespecting veterans, he won’t do what should have been done long ago–bat Davis 8th or 9th. It’s not just Davis, he treats Tillman with kid gloves also. After last season’s fiasco, he should have been in the minors or gone. Instead…he’s back in the rotation and underperforming once again. Get young guys like Sisco and Santander in the lineup and HIGHER in the order so they get more chances.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      One of the more legitimate complaints about Showalter is that he sticks with “track record” guys too long. Sometimes it does pay off, though.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    April 4, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    I realize this isn’t Beantown, but I’m thinking the team should just go ahead and Pablo-Sandoval that contract of his.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      Oof. You are right. This isn’t Boston. That would be a huuuuge contract to eat at this point. Especially when he is more than productive with the glove.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        April 4, 2018 at 4:07 pm

        Maybe we fans should start a go-fund-me account? Heck, I’m in for a sawbuck.

        • jkneps63

          April 4, 2018 at 5:50 pm

          Great idea! I’m in for $20…

          Or make whoever gets Manny take Davis too?

    • LenSakata

      April 4, 2018 at 11:35 pm

      Is Davis going to be the next Jimenez? He’s got a fat contract so he’ll play and stink. Cut your loses now instead of making the team worse.

  3. Mr Will

    April 4, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Anyone nice Ryan Flaherty is 2nd highest BA in NL with 450 avg…six game hit streak and two Manny-like plays at 3b. DD waited too long to act for a change.
    No Norfolk shuttle this year…have to use those tired (and cheap) Rule 5 Arms
    No wonder MLB.COM is saying 7-19 start for Os in April.
    Realize Tillman is a lost boy (what is lost are his fastball pitches)
    Granted this is early but if the pitching (other than Bundy) does not come around shortly….bye bye 2018.
    Angelos should pay Davis off and consider it a bargain…he and Trumbo are done in Big B
    Sisco and Schoop and Santander and Mancini are the future that is here and now..hope they are adequately used. Valencia and Gentry are good subs so put Mancini back on first and bring back Hays for OF.
    If Manny is not staying, put him back on 3b and Beckham at short…why kiss his b___ before he waives it at the club as he bids farewell on July 31 or sooner (I see a number of teams in NL who would like him.) How about this trade Manny to Braves for Flaherty and become the laughing stock of MLB.for free.
    It is early but no later than May 31 there must be numerous changes made to keep patrons at Oriole Park.
    Mr Will

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Well that certainly was a roll. And I closed the Tap Room last night. Again, let it all play out. But I don’t see them eating Davis’ contract.

    • jkneps63

      April 4, 2018 at 5:53 pm

      Crush got a nice PH strikeout to remind us of something or other…

    • AlaskanOsFan

      April 4, 2018 at 11:07 pm

      Should change his nickname from Crush to Crash or backwards K Davis…so “glad” we wasted money on him and but will let Manny walk this season

  4. JParsley

    April 4, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    What ticks me off most about Davis is it looks like he’s just not putting any effort into batting. He’s so nonchalant when he makes an out. Maybe it’s the meds (if he still taking them) but show some freaking passion

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Trust me. I don’t think he lacks for passion. It’s just frustration.

  5. Orial

    April 4, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    If this continues can the O’s bench him and his 20 million salary or does the money mandate that he plays?

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      I think it is a combo of the D and the money. But the money is representative that he was once one of the most feared power hitters in Baseball. And we’re talking about 2015. Not 1996. So that’s gonna keep him in the lineup as well, that possibility. But, yeah, the investment plays a part.

  6. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    April 4, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Davis seems lost at the plate no matter where hits. He was like this last year. He took numerous 2 strike pitches right down the middle for a strikeout. He did that last night. Its hard to comprehend what he is thinking when this happens. He just doesnt seem focused on hitting.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 7:49 pm

      He’s probably too focused. Thinking and second-guessing too much.

  7. jkneps63

    April 4, 2018 at 5:58 pm

    Does anyone else miss Seth Smith?

  8. jimcarter

    April 4, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    Buck couldn’t let Davis sit for even one game! He looked lost as a pinch hitter. Gentry plays well and Buck pulls him for Rasmus. I thought at one point in the game that the Orioles were going to play small ball, but ultimately they bring on the big lumber and fall again.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 7:50 pm

      It was a one-run game and Valencia isn’t particularly good versus right-handers. Wasn’t a strange move

      • jimcarter

        April 5, 2018 at 9:38 am

        I know that flaunting an education in the Kentucky school system may draw some snickers, but ciphering was my second best subject. Valencia versus righties the last 2 seasons: .252/.275. Davis the last two: .218/.223. Now….if you’re going for wall bashing, then Davis is your guy. Unfortunately; the team’s home run skills aren’t producing championships.

  9. Raymo

    April 4, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Regarding the title of today’s posting, I’m not so sure we should be calling him slugger anymore. Just like last year, he looks so lost at the plate. The other guys in the dugout must be feeling some resentment.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 7:53 pm

      The guy hit 26 in 456 at-bats last year. 38 the year before. 47 the year before that. There’s a whole lot to criticize. But he still slugs.

    • Raymo

      April 5, 2018 at 10:42 pm

      And if he continues on that trajectory he’ll hit 15 this year. I hope he can turn it around. We need him to turn it around.

  10. PA Bird Lover

    April 4, 2018 at 10:56 pm

    Davis, Trumbo and now Rasmus, neither of that three have anything left, in my opinion. I shutter to think how things will go with all three in the lineup together. Put Davis in the cage all day long until he wakes up. Trade Trumbo to the Angels for their press secretary, release Rasmus. Play Santander. Give Cortes back to the Yanks. Put Tilly in the pen till he figures out what is wrong. Otherwise this team will go broke because Masn viewers will quit watching and those fans that are sitting through this will tire and end up at the shore. It’s obvious they should have had a fire sale and gathered some quality kids got a rebuild. Just one man’s opinion.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2018 at 2:01 pm

      Wow. Pa. That’s an opinion. Obviously my thought is let it all play out a little. But we appreciate the passion.

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