Chris Davis hit well in limited action with Texas earlier this season, but the Rangers don’t seem particularly interested in giving him another extended opportunity. So instead he’s destroying Triple-A pitching.
Davis has hit .374 with 19 homers and 52 RBIs in 33 games at Triple-A. Admittedly the Pacific Coast League is very hitter-friendly and that monstrous production comes with Davis’ usual lack of strike-zone control in the form of a 41/9 K/BB ratio, but his OPS is a ridiculous 1.300.
Including his previous Triple-A stints Davis has now hit .335 with a 1.000 OPS in 211 games there, so at this point it seems pretty obvious that the 25-year-old has nothing left to prove in the minors. Unfortunately in the majors he’s hit just .231 with a .701 OPS in 179 games since his strong half-season debut in 2008, striking out 208 times in 612 trips to the plate.
Davis explained during spring training that he’d rather be traded than head back to Triple-A and the Rangers didn’t oblige then, but whether they call him up or start shopping him around it’ll be tough to simply keep him stashed in the minors for much longer.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.