Athletics

Why Bob Melvin is confident Khris Davis will have a bounce-back season

Athletics

MESA, Ariz. -- "He's a pretty confident guy." 

A's manager Bob Melvin was talking about Mr. Consistent: Khris Davis. That isn't the A's slugger's actual nickname, but it might as well be.

"Keep him healthy and he's been known to hit .247 and 40 home runs," Melvin said, smiling.

Davis walked through the clubhouse with a new hairstyle. The cornrows were gone, but his manager's confidence in him remained. 

The main goal is just to get him to Opening Day healthy, Melvin said. That goal was important because of injuries the designated hitter suffered in 2019. It was a bug he couldn't quite escape from. 

"Just trying to keep him healthy because we saw last year, the numbers didn't look like they normally do, it's more because of health," Melvin added. "Not so much being hurt, you know when he came back, more having to work around more mechanically around some of the injuries. And then once you start trying to do something differently, sometimes it's tough to find those mechanics again, and I think that's more what happened with him last year than anything else."

Melvin mentioned the A's are not in any rush to give KD a ton of at-bats at the moment, but this upcoming season is a big one for the DH.

"I'm really not thinking about him too much right now, I know he'll be here for us," Melvin said.

It's the message Melvin has preached since the beginning of Davis' decline, which really has only been for one season. Every time he was prompted on Davis' offensive struggles, the manager never seemed worried.

 

He said the 32-year-old had picked up the team before, and it was the team's turn to return the favor. Melvin told NBC Sports California at the end of January he admitted he, and the team, were spoiled by Davis' ability to lead the club. Whether he was hitting those 40-plus homer numbers or being that power bat, Davis' consistency has never been a concern.

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The Green and Gold head into the 2020 season with a lot of promise in every aspect of the roster, but Davis being at the top of his game will make that promise a reality.