Khris Davis arrived at Friday’s Zoom meeting with reporters with his short hair that he wore in spring training.
The few months that had gone by weren’t enough time to grow out the cornrows he usually wears, but the time away from baseball didn’t change his routine.
The self-described homebody doesn’t go out, so despite being a little bored like the rest of us, Davis was fine. He played ping pong with a friend (socially distanced of course) and has two young children that keep him plenty busy.
Davis also kept up with his workouts saying he, along with Ramón Laureano and Mark Canha would “get their swole on,” working out in Davis’ garage gym at home. He didn’t do anything out of the ordinary.
That might be a good thing. He said he felt great.
“I feel healthy first and foremost, I feel excited to be back,” Davis said. “Been missing it.”
He mirrored the sentiments of the team saying the typical 162-game season will now turn into more of a sprint with 60-games rather than the marathon that they’re used to -- a joke Davis says the guys have been declaring. But one thing he was different on was not viewing some of the testing delays as a distraction.
The A’s, among other teams across the league, have faced setbacks in coronavirus testing results that have frustrated those involved and have concluded in teams having to cancel workouts.
“I don’t see all this distraction with the COVID testing and our routines being off so I'm just happy to be back really,” Davis said.
He certainly appeared happy -- an improved mentality from who he was last season.
Khris Davis is definitely closing the door on the .247 average. Tells us it’s a weird thing to think about.— Jessica Kleinschmidt (@KleinschmidtJD) July 11, 2020
"I think that was the one thing I took after last year is that I didn’t feel good physically a lot of the days, so I think that kind of held me down and I couldn’t overcome it," Davis said. "But I think as far as my confidence, I’ve just been trying to get in the best shape I can.”
Last year Davis had a hip injury when he made a play against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 5 when he made a catch in foul territory slamming hard into the railing with his left side. He also was hit in the left hand on another occasion.
“I didn’t have a way to overcome that physical, mental balance, but it’s a new year and I’ve closed the chapter on that one,” he said.
That reunited confidence is also brought on by his teammates. Last season, Davis had what you would call a down year when he slashed .220/.293/.387 line while hitting 23 home runs which was coming off a league-leading 48-homer season in 2018.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said during spring training (the first one) that despite the low numbers, the team was more than willing to step up and be successful -- something Melvin said Davis had done many times. Davis is glad knowing he doesn’t need to always be on his game with a team of that caliber behind him.
“This team is good enough where I don’t have to do all the work,” Davis said. “They proved it last year -- they don’t need me to go out and hit a home run every ball game.”
They certainly did -- 97 times.
And they see it, too. As A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty told reporters on Saturday, Davis is back.
“That spark coming off his bat is there again,” Piscotty said. “He’s really driving the ball well to right and right-center, which is something I remember him doing exceptionally well. It’s a good indicator that he’s right where he needs to be.”