With Chris Davis’ left knee injury (patellar tendinitis), the Orioles placed him on the 10-Day IL and called up heralded prospect Ryan Mountcastle.
Which only begs the question of what is next for Davis, who has two more years after 2020 left on his contract.
Mountcastle is expected to play mostly left field, but could slide his way to first base over the next few weeks of the season. If Davis is healthy then, it’s not clear what the next step is.
“I’m not really sure,” manager Brandon Hyde said when asked if Davis’ injury could last longer than 10 days. “We’re 10-Day IL’ing him and we’ll see how he feels over the next 10 days.”
Hyde said Davis came to him a few days ago and told him about soreness in his left knee. The organization then decided to put him on the IL to let the knee get treatment and recover.
“Just felt like the right thing to do was to put him on the IL to continue to get treatment,” Hyde said. “It acted up on him yesterday after the game two days ago. Felt like the right move was to put him on the IL to give him some rest.”
Statistically, Davis is having the worst year of his career at 34-years-old. He’s batting .122 and has just six hits in 49 at-bats so far this year — three of which were doubles. He’s yet to hit a home run this year. It’s been a steady decline for Davis, who has posted declining power numbers in every year since 2016.
With Mountcastle now on the roster, apparently for the long haul, the Orioles — who slowly took Davis out of the lineup — have a tough decision to make when he’s able to return.
Renato Nunez has filled in nicely at first base, and with Mountcastle as an option now, Davis likely won’t be a better bat coming off the bench. Meaning, unless the Orioles are willing to sacrifice at-bats for Nunez, Mountcastle or the DH, it’ll be tough to find him in the lineup once he’s healthy enough to return.
Including last Friday’s 15-3 loss to the Nationals, Davis has just had just nine at-bats and has gone hitless in those at-bats.
“I know that it’s been bothering him, so I don’t think it’s helped him,” Hyde said of Davis’ slump as it relates to his knee. “It’s something he’s been going to get treatment for, so I don’t think it’s helped the way he’s been feeling.”