It’s no secret that Markakis is struggling to drive the ball recently. He has gone 24 games without an extra-base hit and 44 games without a homer since June 24. He’s getting his hits, not just any for extra bases recently. Markakis has just two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 38 games since July 1.
Davis is obviously a threat anywhere you put him in the order. For tonight, that is the batting order, but manager Buck Showalter said today he is not ready to say that is the way the O’s will continue to bat.
“I’m not married to it. It just fits for us right now,” Showalter said. “I know Nick is working on some things with Jimmy (Presley) and Crow (Terry Crowley). Just a way to take a little ... you know, Chris has hit there before. I think we are far enough in the season whether Chris is hitting ninth or first or fifth or fourth, it doesn’t phase him. He’s done well in all spots.
“Think it is just a way to let Nick ... This game is not, at-bats will find you. You don’t want (Miguel) Cabrera to hit with the bases loaded and he’ll come up with the bases loaded. That little white rat will find you defensively if you’re not good.
“Just trying to move things around a little bit. I’d be surprised if Nick is not hitting third for us again at some point. Or first.”
Davis has batted third in five games this season and the Orioles have lost four of them. He is just 3-for-20 when batting third with one homer and one RBI.
Yes, it is a very, very small sample size.
Davis’ OPS by spot in the batting order:
Third - .527
Fourth - .735
Fifth - 1.125