The Baltimore Orioles need to face the facts – it is time to bite the bullet and move away from Chris Davis.
There was hope surrounding Chris Davis heading into this season. The maligned Baltimore Orioles first baseman had been crushing the ball in spring training, and had continued swinging a hot bat when summer camp began. The hope was that, if Davis was ever going to bounce back, it would happen in this shortened season.
Instead, Davis put together his worst showing in the majors. He had dealt with patellar tendinitis in his left knee, leading to his being on the Injured List for a month, returning for just one game before being lost for the season. In his time on the Orioles roster, he had just six hits, with three doubles, in 55 plate appearances, drawing three walks with 17 strikeouts.
This is the third consecutive poor season for Davis. Since the start of 2018, he has produced a horrendous .169/.251/.299 batting line. In his 929 plate appearances, Davis has just 24 doubles and 28 homers while striking out 348 times.
Meanwhile, with Davis’ latest stint on the Injured List, Ryan Mountcastle has moved over to first base. The bat first prospect has been as hoped for, with an impressive .330/.389/.530 batting line with five doubles and five homers in 113 plate appearances. Although Mountcastle began his time in the majors in left, he is considered to be a first baseman for the long term.
However, that is, in theory, Davis’ job. While he has lost plate appearances to Renato Nunez, Davis is still considered to be a part of the Orioles primary first base rotation. His extension, with another $46 million due, has kept him in the lineup as the Orioles hope for a miracle.
But it’s time to face facts. No matter how much the Orioles may hope otherwise, and no matter how hard he works, Davis is done. He has not been close to a major league caliber hitter since 2017, and at 35 years old next season, it is hard to see that changing. That $23 million per year is a sunk cost, and one that Baltimore should move on from.
The Baltimore Orioles cannot afford to keep Chris Davis on the roster. As much as it may hurt the bottom line, it is time to cut him loose.