Is this the year that Davis, Reimold get 500 at-bats?

Chris Davis began last season as the starting third baseman for the Triple-A Round Rock Express and Nolan Reimold began last year as the starting left fielder for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides.

Davis has 1,807 career at-bats in the minors and 1,005 in the majors. Reimold has 1,986 in the minors and 741 in the majors. Reimold has spent parts of the past three seasons in Triple-A, while Davis has spent time in Triple-A in each of the last four seasons.

Will 2012 be the year when both players get a full-time shot to start in the big leagues and get 500 at-bats or more for the first time in their big league careers?

A fan wrote to me via Twitter yesterday to ask if the Orioles could have a mulligan and send Davis back to Texas for Koji Uehara. I like Koji, too, and he could help this bullpen, but Uehara will turn 37 in early April and Davis will play this entire year at 26.

No doubt there are fans that see Davis as perhaps a 4A player and maybe Reimold, too. But if the Orioles are trying to find nuggets for their future, aren’t Davis and Reimold just the kind of players they should give some playing time to? Players that are still young and have upside? Players that could be a key part of a more successful O’s future?

Both players have had some major league success but neither has ever been a full-time regular. Reimold’s career high is 358 at-bats in 2009 and Davis’ is 391 in 2009.

Count me among those intrigued by what this duo could achieve playing in a lineup every day pretty much through the end of the season, playing through slumps and not having to look over their shoulders wondering if today’s 0-for-4 will send them back to the bench.

It’s time to find out once and for all if Davis and Reimold are solid major league regulars or not.

Reimold finished with a flourish last season. In 22 September games, he hit .281 with five homers, 16 runs, 17 RBIs, a .578 slugging percentage and .973 OPS. He also stole 6-of-6 bases in the month.

Davis, who hit .285 with 17 homers and 55 RBIs in 80 games during his 2008 rookie season with Texas, had amazing Triple-A numbers last year, when he hit .368 with 24 homers and 66 RBIs in just 48 games.

By the way, last year in 31 home games for Round Rock, Davis batted a robust .403 with 20 homers and 52 RBIs. That’s 20 homers in 31 games. He posted a .960, not OPS, but slugging percentage. Dell Diamond must be some hitters’ park and the ball must have looked like a basketball to Davis when he played there.

In parts of the last three seasons with the Orioles, Reimold has hit .256 with 33 doubles, five triples, 31 homers, 104 RBIs, a .440 slugging average and .779 OPS.

Fans write in and say the Orioles need more proven players to start in left and at first base. Well, they don’t have anyone proven to play in those spots right now and again, I see nothing wrong with this team right now giving a chance to players like this.

Sometimes, when a player is given a chance, he will deliver. Robert Andino anyone?

What is your take?: Should the Orioles give either of the duo regular at-bats this season? How will they do? Has either player logged enough time by now to know what kind of player they will be?

Cute kid: Check out this video of a young and rather smart Nats fan. If I had video of a young O’s fan, I would include it. Maybe you do and will send us a link.

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