Let this stat sink in: Chris Davis has hit nine homers over his last nine regular season games. He has homered in eight of those nine games. He homered in six in a row late last year, took game 162 off and is now 2-for-2.
I guess that is pretty good.
I also guess talk that Davis could hit 40 this year is not just hype. He clearly is capable of it. And it does seem he is a bit of a streaky homer hitter. Last season, even before that late-season homer barrage, he homered in back-to-back games five times.
His monthly homer totals were kind of modest as he had four in April, five in May, four in June, five in July and August and then 10 in September and October.
Also in Davis’ favor to put up big homer numbers is that he hits about equally well off left- and right-handed pitchers. His OPS last year was .792 against lefties and .836 against righties.
Plus he can hit the ball out to all fields as he showed last night taking a pitch that may have been off the plate outside to left field. So he’s got the raw power and the ability to go with the pitch. A good combination.
Davis averaged a homer every 15.6 at-bats last year, an impressive number and one that topped Jay Bruce (16.5), Adrian Beltre (16.8), Prince Fielder (19.4) and Albert Pujols (20.2), among others. He hit 33 in 515 at-bats so if he gets 600 ABs this year, 40 could be in reach.
Only four times in Orioles history has a player hit 40 or more homers:
50 - Brady Anderson, 1996
49 - Frank Robinson, 1966
46 - Jim Gentile, 1961
43 - Rafael Palmeiro, 1998
Will Davis join that club this year?
Norfolk roster: The Triple-A Norfolk Tides announced their season-opening roster today. Here is release from the team:
The Norfolk Tides and the Baltimore Orioles have announced the Tides opening roster for 2013. The roster features 13 pitchers and 12 position players, and will be managed this season by Ron Johnson.
The pitching staff consists of starters Zach Clark (slated to take the mound in tonight’s opener at Harbor Park vs. Durham), Zach Britton and Jair Jurrjens. Norfolk’s relievers include Jairo Asencio, Mike Belfiore, Rob Delaney, Manny Delcarmen, Mark Hendrickson, Andy Loomis, Daniel McCutchen, Scott Proctor, Adam Russell and Daniel Schlereth.
The Tides will feature six infielders: Russ Canzler, Travis Ishikawa, Yamaico Navarro, Niuman Romero, Jonathan Schoop and Danny Valencia. Manning the outfield for Norfolk will be Chris Dickerson, L.J. Hoes, Conor Jackson and Jason Pridie. The Tides will open the season with two catchers: Luis Exposito and Chris Robinson.
Catcher Zach Booker and pitchers Zach Braddock, Joel Pineiro and Rich Rundles will open the season on Norfolk’s disabled list.
The Tides begin their 2013 season tonight at Harbor Park with a 7:05 contest against the Durham Bulls. After four games with Durham, Norfolk welcomes the Charlotte Knights to town for a three-game set.
By the way, the Tides opening rotation will be in order, Clark, Jurrjens, Britton and Freddy Garcia, who will start Sunday. There is not a fifth starter named at this point and it could be a bullpen day for the Tides.
Dylan Bundy, I am told, is still in rest mode, and the mild tightness in his right elbow is still considered minor. The hope is he can soon resume his throwing program.
Outfielder Johnny Ruettiger, the Orioles’ eighth-round pick in 2011, has been added to the Double-A Bowie roster taking Brandon Waring’s spot. Waring will begin the season on the disabled list with an oblique strain.