WASHINGTON - Blake Davis didn’t receive an invitation to spring training this year. He remained in a utility role at Triple-A Norfolk, mostly playing right field but also getting starts in the infield. He wasn’t a leading candidate to make his major league debut this summer.
Anything can happen in this game.
Davis, 27, had his contract purchased and will be on the bench for today’s game against the Nationals. He batted .284 (52-for-183) with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 49 games with the Tides.
“Yeah, you know it was a nice surprise. It was pretty special,” he said.
Norfolk manager Gary Allenson gave Davis the news yesterday.
“Gary Allenson was like, ‘Hey, Slick, you’re going up.’ And then he kind of told me what to expect,” Davis said. “It was pretty special.”
Davis was regarded as a middle infield prospect, but he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot about halfway through spring training in 2009. He eventually came off the 40-man roster and became a utility player.
“You know, once I got hurt it kind of went downhill from there,” he said. “I kind of came in this year with a chip on my shoulder, I guess, to kind of prove I can play. You know, be here. And not getting an invite to spring training, I just kind of took it with a grain of salt and said, ‘You know, you’ve got to get better.’ And you know, I tried to do that down there in Triple-A. I just tried to do the best I could.”
Davis is aware of everything that’s going on with the Orioles.
“Yeah, you know, you got your family letting you know what’s going on,” he said. “Your big league club, you’re always watching what’s going on. You’ve got games in the clubhouse, reading up on the articles, so I’m aware of what’s going on here.”
Davis has learned to love the outfield, though he’s not expected to play ahead of Nick Markakis in right. The Tides didn’t have a shortage of infielders on their roster, especially once veterans Brendan Harris and Nick Green were sent down.
“When it first happened last year, I was kind of like, ‘Oh, OK, I guess I’ll go play outfield.’ But after kind of talking to some people, they were saying it’s a good thing. The more positions you play might be a better way to get up to the big leagues. And I kind of said, ‘All right, let’s have fun.’
“Playing outfield is kind of fun. And then second base, you know, was fun. Anywhere you can play to get here is the main goal, as long as you can do that. So that’s pretty much what I was trying to do.”
Davis drove here from Norfolk with his wife, who rushed to the airport this morning to pick up his mother. Davis’ brother also will be here.
“They’re all excited,” Davis said.