Chris Davis on benching: “It’s probably because I’ve been sucking lately”

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Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is on the bench today and initially reports had him sitting out because of an oblique muscle injury, but he later cleared that up by saying:

Physically [I’m fine]. It’s probably because I’ve been sucking lately.

That’s better, I guess–and the Orioles are also facing a very tough left-hander in White Sox ace Chris Sale–although Davis has hit just .153 with 41 strikeouts in his last 25 games and his overall OPS this season is 255 points below last year’s mark.

Davis seeing a big decline in his numbers this season was to be expected, if only because 53 homers and 138 RBIs is a ridiculously good year for any hitter, but he actually got off to a very strong start with seven homers and an .894 OPS in 34 games through mid-May.

And now he’s on the bench in favor of journeyman Steve Pearce.

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

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The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.