Results tagged ‘ Khris Davis ’
By Nathan Petrashek
There are about to be a whole lot of roster moves, a reflection of just how crippled the Brewers have been for the first month of the season. Some of them have happened already, some of them will happen tomorrow, some of them will happen during the month of May. Here’s the latest on the Brewers fallen:
Jeff Bianchi activated; Khris Davis optioned: IF Jeff Bianchi was placed on the DL this spring with left hip bursitis, which sounds pretty epic but is really just inflammation that can cause joint stiffness. His unavailability led in part to the Brewers to pick up Yuniesky Betancourt, who’s knocking the stuffing out of the ball, so I guess we should all be thankful for that. In any case, Bianchi is back now, which means the Brewers currently have four – count ‘em, four! – shortstop types on the active roster. OF Khris Davis, who has received just a handful of plate attempts, was sent down to AAA Nashville. Bianchi hit .188/.230/.348 with the Brewers last season, although he sports a minor league career triple slash of .286/.340/.411.
Aramis Ramirez activated; Josh Prince optioned: Ramirez was down for a month after sliding awkwardly into second base. Despite missing nearly all of April, the team will bring him right back into the fold, though he will probably see plenty of time off early on. Josh Prince is being sent down to Nashville in a corresponding move.
Chris Narveson: Narveson has been playing catch as he rehabs a sprained finger on his pitching hand. He’s slated to return in Mid-May.
Mark Rogers: Rogers, officially placed on the DL with “right shoulder instability,” but unofficially with loss of velocity, command, and everything else that makes a pitcher go, started a rehab assignment on April 23. The Brewers will need to decide whether to activate him to the major league club or cut ties with him by May 23; he’s not likely to clear waivers. For what it’s worth, Rogers has not pitched well since beginning his rehab stint; he’s walked 6 over 3.2 innings against just 1 strikeout, and has allowed at least 1 run in 2 of his 3 appearances.
Corey Hart: Hart had right knee surgery in January. He just rejoined the team and is currently throwing, doing water aerobics, and exercising to strengthen his quads. Hart, on the 60-day DL, is eligible for reinstatement on May 30, but it’s anyone’s guess whether he’ll make that goal.
Taylor Green: Green started the season on the DL with a hip injury. He elected to have season-ending surgery in late April.
Mat Gamel: Gamel had season-ending knee surgery on March 8.
By Nathan Petrashek
OF Khris Davis is making all kinds of noise with his bat in Brewers’ camp this year. After a 2-for-3 day, Davis is now slashing .300/.333/.650 this spring. That slugging percentage might seem ridiculous, but his power is real. As he moved up through three levels of the minors last year, Davis slugged .604 with a ratio of about 17 at-bats per home run. Today, Davis crushed a two-run tater to left, his second of the spring.
Unfortunately, Davis isn’t making any noise at all with his glove. Entering the lineup as DH, he didn’t even need to bring it to the park today. For an outfielder, Davis doesn’t have a good arm, and Ron Roneicke has all but said he won’t play Davis in right field. Unfortunately, a premium defensive position like center field isn’t a good option either. That leaves left field, where Davis is blocked by Ryan Braun. You see the dilemma.
At first blush, the injuries to Corey Hart and Mat Gamel seemed like a great opportunity for Davis. Sure, he’d have to learn first base, but it isn’t like he’d have to become a pitcher or backstop. It’s definitely do-able. Corey Hart did it just last year.
Apparently that won’t be happening, though. From various reports, it sounds like Davis had tried first base a few times earlier in his pro career and it didn’t go well. I’ve also heard the Brewers had him doing a little work there earlier in camp and came away unimpressed.
That doesn’t change the fact that, for the first month or two, the Brewers are going to need someone to play first base. It doesn’t look like they’ll be signing anyone, so it’s strictly internal candidates at this point. And with the kind of pop Khris Davis has, he should be the leading candidate. But he’s not. And I find that really puzzling. Is Davis’s glove going to be a bigger liability than, say, Alex Gonzalez’s bat? Or Taylor Green’s, for that matter? I have a hard time believing so.
Davis is 25 and entering his prime. Unless he changes positions, he’s simply not going to get a shot with Ryan Braun in the way. Sink or swim, it’s time to see what the kid can do.
By Nathan Petrashek
Position review and previews start this week, and coming into spring training I thought first base would be pretty easy to write. Not so fast.
Right knee surgery will cost Corey Hart a month plus, and yesterday the Brewers announced that Hart’s likely replacement, Mat Gamel, would miss all of 2013.
Someone’s going to have to man first base, though. So without further ado, here are a few potential replacements.
A career .285/.339/.483 hitter, Lee has plenty of first base experience and is currently a free agent. Lee’s age (36) has really started to catch up to him the last few years; at this point, he’s probably ideally suited for a bench spot, which is where he would find himself when Corey Hart returns. According to Doug Melvin, though, Lee is still looking for a full-time gig, even if that will be hard to come by as spring training games begin. If Lee was a little more realistic about where he is in his career, he would be my preference. Lee’s power would play pretty well on what projects to be a fairly weak-hitting bench.
Morris tore it up in the Brewers’ AA system last year, belting out a .303/.357/.563 triple slash line. That earned him a Minor League Player of the Year award, but it will probably take more than that to earn him a berth as the team’s starting first baseman. There are plenty of defensive concerns, and Morris didn’t showcase nearly as much offensive talent in 2010 and 2011. Doug Melvin was careful to note that Morris would cost someone a 40-man roster spot, and he would surely like to delay the start of Morris’s service time. Toss in the uncertainty surrounding Morris’s capabilities, and the fact that he hasn’t played a single game above AA, and he’s unlikely to win the job unless his case is undeniable.
The Brewers’ 7th-round pick in 2009 has really come into his own. An outfielder by trade, fellow BrewCrewBall.com writer Noah Jarosh suggested Davis might be a good fit at first base. The numbers certainly play, as Davis has carved up the minors with a triple slash line of .294/.400/.513. Davis has a keen eye at the plate (career 10.2% walk rate that could climb) and plus power (.211 career ISO). He might be an unconventional choice, but he may be the best in-house option the Brewers have right now.
3B/IF Taylor Green has had a few opportunities in the major leagues, but hasn’t done much (read: anything) with them. We have to be careful there, though, because he’s garnered only about 150 plate attempts in his 2 years coming off the bench. Green has several solid minor league seasons under his belt, and perhaps all he needs is consistent playing time to show his solid hit tools.
This is apparently Ron Roenicke’s brainchild. A shortstop for his entire 14-year career, Gonzalez has precisely zero experience at first base. Gonzalez is such a good defensive shortstop that it’s easy to overlook his offensive shortcomings, but those will be glaring at a corner infield spot: very little pop, and on-base skills that leave a lot to be desired. There are better options.
A former first-round pick and AL Rookie of the Year, Crosby hasn’t played baseball since 2010. His triple slash line over 8 seasons wasn’t pretty (.236/.304./.372), and neither were the injury bug and mental struggles that dogged him throughout his career. But Crosby’s pedigree has garnered him another shot at the bigs, and it’s anyone’s guess where that will go. Crosby is on a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Carp, a recent DFA by the Seattle Mariners, is the longest of long shots to even find his way on the Brewers, let alone wind up the team’s Opening Day first baseman. There are quite a few suitors looking to swing a trade for the 26-year-old, including several AL teams that would have waiver priority over the Brewers, as Kyle Lobner notes. Carp would be a decent fill-in, but according to Ken Rosenthal, the Brewers aren’t all that interested right now.
Let’s keep in perspective that Gamel’s replacement will be filling in for just a month or two before Corey Hart returns, so despite the post title, this isn’t a crash and burn scenario for the Brewers. The best case scenario for the team is to find someone who will have value coming off the bench for the remainder of the season.