Chris Davis has always been a hot topic of conversation for Orioles fans.
Whether it was about his contract, or his raw strength to mash home runs as good as, or better than, anyone in Major League Baseball, Davis has always been a topic surrounding the Orioles.
But if the last few days are any indication, Davis could be sliding out of the Orioles’ plans, on the field, in the immediate future.
In the last few days, Renato Nunez has been the team’s regular first baseman and Davis has found himself on the bench. Since Aug. 14, he’s taken just one at-bat — as a pinch-hitter.
Davis has struggled this season, a year that looked promising after he had an incredibly hot start to the year in Spring Training. But since then, with the postponement of the year from March to late July, Davis has struggled mightily.
He’s batting just .133 this season with a .188 on-base percentage and is 6-of-45 at the plate with three doubles and no home runs. If those numbers hold, it will be the third straight season Davis has batted under .200 and will continue the downwards trajectory of his home run totals that he's had since 2016.
After Davis, 34, was held out of the lineup due to COVID-19 concerns a few weeks ago (which turned out to be a minor sinus infection), he seemed to be slowly turning around his season, but never has found the consistency he’s been looking for.
Now, the Orioles are faced with a difficult decision with Davis as Nunez, who was batting .307 entering Monday’s game, is certainly the more reliable option at first base for the immediate future — especially considering the Orioles’ strong start to the season.
Davis’ contract expires after the 2022 season, but he’s due about $45 million before his days as an Oriole officially end.
With prospect Ryan Mountcastle knocking on the door, the opportunity to get at-bats will come at a premium with the Orioles suddenly in contention for a playoff spot through the first third of the season. For that reason, it looks as if Davis will be a situational replacement instead of the day-to-day starter he was at the start of the season.