Are some fans concerned about O’s first baseman Chris Davis?
I can sense the answer to that question is yes but I don’t see any reason to be concerned yet. Yes, Davis has just one homer and has not looked good at the plate in the Boston series so far, but it’s just too early to draw any conclusions.
Davis has just three hits over his 18 at-bats. He does not have a multi-hit game over his last eight games, going 5-for-26 in that time.
In his first 16 games, he’s batting .255 with four doubles, one homer and eight RBIs. His OBP is .368, his slugging percentage is .382 and his OPS is .749.
After 16 games last year, Davis was batting .382 with six doubles, six homers and 20 RBIs. He had an OBP of .470, an .818 slugging percentage and 1.288 OPS.
Don’t think many expected 53 homers this year or that he could repeat the torrid start he got off to in 2013.
Davis has driven some balls hard this season despite hitting just one out to this point. But he’s also struck out 19 times in 55 at-bats. He is chasing some pitches and not getting in some good counts right now. I don’t expect that to continue.
Davis has good company among a group of players with just one homer going into Saturday’s games. That list included Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano, Prince Fielder, Joe Mauer and Evan Longoria.
Among those without a homer through Friday’s games were Edwin Encarnacion, Billy Butler, Wil Myers, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Derek Jeter.
The Orioles have not hit a homer over their last four games and have just nine so far. So no one has homered over this four-game stretch, it’s not only Davis. Adam Jones has hit just one this season as well.
During the O’s last homestand, I asked Davis how he looks at his homer total when he evaluates his offense.
“I think it’s more important to drive in runs,” he said. “No one is going up there swinging for the fences. Our approach has always been to pass the baton. We talk about over and over not trying to do too much and stay within yourself. Sometimes that is easier said than done.”
I think it’s too soon to have any concerns over Davis, even though, for some, that may also be easier said than done.
He is clearly a marked man in this lineup and pitchers will pitch him carefully as much as possible. He’s not hitting homers right now. But so far, he has company on this team in that regard.
In the minors: There was some impressive starting pitching on the farm on Saturday. Mike Wright, the Orioles’ 2013 minor league Pitcher of the Year, is off to a strong start at Triple-A Norfolk. The right-hander pitched seven innings last night against Durham and gave up just four hits and one run with a fastball that touched the mid-90s. The No. 8 rated O’s prospect by Baseball America, Wright retired 15 batters in a row at one point.
Wright, who tied for the Eastern League ERA title with Bowie last year, now has an ERA of 1.59 through three starts. Over 17 innings, he has given up 15 hits with four walks and 15 strikeouts.
Durham won 2-1 in 11 innings and Norfolk is now 4-12 for the worst record in the International League. The Tides have scored just 48 runs in 16 games. Norfolk went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and is now 0-6 in one-run games.
On Saturday afternoon, Double-A Bowie right-hander Matt Bischoff, making a spot start with Eduardo Rodriguez out with a knee injury, pitched a strong game against Akron. Over a career-high five innings he gave up three hits and one run. But Bowie lost 3-1, getting swept in the three-game series to fall to 8-8.
Single-A Delmarva right-hander Sebastian Vader gave up just five hits and one run over seven innings for the Shorebirds, but Delmarva lost 2-1 in 11 innings at Greensboro. That ends the Shorebirds’ four-game winning streak.
Frederick was rained out on Saturday at Carolina and the game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow.
The three starters that did pitch yesterday combined to give up just three earned runs and 12 hits over 19 innings for an ERA of 1.42.
Delmarva outfielder Josh Hart left last night’s game with a sprained ankle. Hart was the O’s second draft pick last June, taken 37th overall. He’ll be evaluated further today.