For what it’s worth, Wieters and Davis had the same number of home runs over the weekend. Perhaps if Wieters can continue towards a pace of about 20 home runs this season that will be enough to keep pitchers from ultimately deciding to pull a full Barry Bonds and simply walk Chris Davis at all times. Davis’ 97 strikeouts are likely the top reason teams are still willing to go after him, but if his contact continues at a similar rate, the odds won’t be favorable to continue pitching to him.
For me, I simply don’t get it.
“WHY IS THE KID ON THE ESCALATOR AGAIN?!?!?!”
Why would teams give Chris Davis any opportunity to beat them…ever? There’s no Prince Fielder behind Davis like there is for the league’s other top MVP candidate and defending Triple Crown winner, Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera. But somehow Davis has 16 fewer walks on the season. That’s in part because Cabrera has a significantly better eye at the plate (Davis has 37 more strikeouts than Cabrera), but also appears to be because teams are still reluctant to accept the notion that Davis is such an offensive difference maker that they can’t be willing to take chances against him.
On that same SiriusXM Fantasy Channel show Sunday morning, I was asked what would happen if Davis were to go into some sort of prolonged slump in the second half of the season. While I by no means expect that to happen, I admitted I didn’t think the Orioles were built to overcome that-as without Mark Reynolds they didn’t have an easy option as a replacement RBI producer. Jones, Wieters and JJ Hardy all have RBI capabilities, but if Davis were to slump, the Birds would presumably need to make it up with more consistent starting pitching (currently 27th in all of baseball in team ERA).
One way for teams to help Davis into a slump would be to not let him see anything he could possibly hit. Some will decry the spirit of competition, but when the Birds visit Phoenix themselves this August, I’ll most certainly be hoping Buck Showalter will tell his pitchers to throw nothing hittable to Paul Goldschmidt and instead take their chances against Montero instead.
But if teams want to keep pitching to Davis, I’ll just hope that bloodbaths continue to ensue.
You have to fear the escalator.