Orioles first baseman Chris Davis could not have started the 2019 season off worse. After an 0-for-3 performance on Thursday afternoon against the Yankees, which included three strikeouts, manager Brandon Hyde opted to pinch-hit for him with Hanser Alberto in the eighth inning against lefty Zack Britton. Alberto singled to put runners on first and second, but the Orioles couldn’t capitalize.
Davis remains hitless on the season in 21 trips to the plate. He has whiffed in 11 of those plate appearances. On the bright side, he has drawn four walks. Davis also started last season slowly, going hitless in his first 17 plate appearances before registering his first hit, a single, in the Orioles’ fourth game.
The major league record for consecutive games without a hit to begin the season by a non-pitcher is 23 by Eugenio Velez in 2011 with the Dodgers. So, Davis has a long way to go.
Davis, 33, was the third-place finisher in AL MVP balloting back in 2013, leading the majors in home runs and RBI with 53 and 138, respectively. He again led the majors in home runs in 2015 with 47. Since then, however, it has been a steep drop. Following his .923 OPS in ’15, Davis put up a .792 OPS in ’16, .732 in ’17, and a staggering .539 last year.
Davis is in the fourth year of his seven-year, $161 million contract. It hasn’t gone well for the Orioles.