Thursday, June 30, 2011
Rangers haven't forgotten Chris Davis
By Calvin Watkins
HOUSTON -- The criticism against first baseman Chris Davis is he can't hit big league pitching.
In the minor leagues, he's a star.
And while spending just 33 games at Triple-A Round Rock, Davis was selected to the Triple-A All-Star game for hitting .374 with 19 home runs and 52 RBIs. Davis is hitting .462 the last 10 games and of his 19 home runs, 14 have come against right-handed pitching.
In the majors, of course, Davis has struggled. Before he was sent back down in mid-June -- when Ian Kinsler came off maternity leave -- he hit .269 with just four RBIs and three home runs.
His recent success would lead you to believe the Rangers would give him another opportunity to move up.
"When you say give him another shot, it's got to be at the expense of somebody else," manager Ron Washington said when asked about Davis. "We haven't forgotten about Chris and we'll give him another shot, and it's got to be like [when] we feel like we can make that happen. We will make that happen at some point, I just don't know when."
Washington has a point.
Who do the Rangers send down to make room for Davis? At this point, they don't need another bat. If anything, adding to the bullpen would help and there are about three pitchers waiting in the wings to get a call.
Also, catcher/first baseman Mike Napoli is slated to come off the DL after the weekend and it seems backup catcher Taylor Teagarden might get sent down.
Washington did say Teagarden would catch at some point this weekend during the Florida Marlins series.
When it comes to Davis, he'll have to wait, and when he does get another chance, take advantage of it.
"By him waiting, he's showing how mature he's being," Washington said. "He's not letting the fact he knows he should be up here in the big leagues affect what he's doing down there, and that's when you can judge. Maybe he's matured."
Update:Rangers GM Jon Daniels returned this week from a overseas trip and expects to speak with Washington about Davis and other players this weekend.
"Reports have been very positive," Daniels told ESPNDallas' Richard Durrett. "He's such a good athlete, we thought he could handle it, and he has. He's plus on the infield corners, so this just gives Wash another way to get his bat in the lineup the next time there's a need. He's handled the situation as professionally as one could ask."