Baltimore Orioles Victory Number 51: 2-1 over the Seattle Mariners
2016 Topps Archives Chris Davis (1991 Topps Style)
"Davis, in the air, right field. That ball is back, at the wall, and GOOD BYE HOME RUN! Chris Davis! Maybe it's the last one at home, maybe it isn't"
On Sunday, the most beleaguered Oriole of them all, Chris Davis turned on a Marco Gonzales fastball and deposited it into the sparsely populated right field bleachers. It was only his 11th home run of the year, but it provided the winning margin in an excellently pitched game. It's the lowest total of his career since 2011, his first year in Baltimore.
His two-and-a-half year decline has been well documented, but for one last moment, in the final home game of the season for the Orioles, he provided a little reminder of what it was like during the good days. The easy swing, the electric crack off the bat that leaves no doubt, and the laconic run around the bases were all so familiar for his first five-and-a-half years in Baltimore.
Will he be back next season? It's hard to say. The best thing for the team would probably be for him to not be there. That opens up first base full time for Trey Mancini, which then opens up another outfield spot for one of the young players. If Ryan Mountcastle is ready, he can back up Mancini and DH (Mark Trumbo will likely be gone as well). The line-up becomes a little more right-handed heavy, but DJ Stewart in a full season would most likely hit more than 11 home runs.
Still, there is the issue of the $51 million left on his contract. It's asking a lot of whatever Angelos is actually running the team to pay someone that much to not play for the Orioles. Yes, the Orioles are a mid-market team (that would have you believe they are a small market team) and that's a tremendous amount of money to bury, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.
I've been long of the opinion that he is penciled onto the roster to begin the season. After all, it's still a season that fans can expect them to see them lose 100 games. Mountcastle is still a prospect without a position who has yet to take a major league at bat. Management is in no hurry to rush anyone along so they may keep him in AAA for the beginning of the season.
So Davis may have another chance to show his teammates, coaches, and the fans that he can find his stroke. Unlike last season, there were times he was on a legitimate hitting streak, even when he wasn't getting hits he was still hitting the ball sharply.
He can still play an average-to-good first base and still possess light-tower power. There are also some small milestones he can still hit, even if it's just a half-season that he plays. He's six away from 300 homeruns, 49 hits away from 1200, and 22 away from 800 RBIs. That's a pretty damn good career.
There's still a week left in the season and he should get a few more at bats. There may be one more moment in the orange and black that fans remember. If not, his last at bat in Camden Yards was a pretty damn nice one.