Khris Davis is tearing apart the ball in spring training, just absolutely demolishing it. With his miraculous offensive numbers, Davis has made his case for a spot on the Milwaukee Brewers roster.
Yet he still finds himself on the outside looking in on making the Brewers opening day roster. By being a left fielder, a below average one at that, he is unequivocally blocked by Ryan Braun and since Braun isn’t going anywhere for the next seven years, Davis’ future in Milwaukee is blurry. However despite common thought, there is room on the roster for the right-handed slugger, but the Brewers must be willing to part with Taylor Green.
Right now, I see the bench as follows: Alex Gonzalez, Martin Maldonado, Logan Schafer, and Taylor Green. That’s one sad group. Not one of them is a power threat, which makes Green even more expendable. At 5’11”, Davis certainly doesn’t look like a power hitter, but he is exactly the shot in the arm the Brewers’ bench needs.
Davis is batting .364 with five home runs (six if you count his bomb against Team Canada) and 13 RBI in 15 games this spring. Meanwhile, Green has managed a mere .138 average, zero home runs, and just four runs driven in. Based on those stats, who would you rather see on the Brewers bench?
I realize spring training numbers are meaningless (Corey Hart is a perfect example of that), but we have witnessed Green’s production at the major league level – there is none. He is a lot more versatile and can play more positions than Davis, not to mention a left-handed hitter is a hot commodity, but honestly, what’s the point of having a lefty when that lefty can’t hit?
However, a big advantage that Green has over Davis is his ability to play first base. With Hart recovering from knee surgery, Green, along with Gonzalez, look to be the favorites to fill in.
Davis has already passed the minor league test. In 32 games in Triple-A in 2012, he boasted a .310 average with four home runs and 24 runs batted in. This was after he crushed Double-A pitching and composed a .383 average with eight long balls and 23 RBI in 44 games. Hitting in the minor leagues is no challenge for the 25-year-old; it’s his defense that needs work.
Defense is Davis’ weak point. According to scouts and those in the Brewers organization, he doesn’t have a very strong arm which will limit his chances of being an every day outfielder. Apparently, Davis has already attempted a transition to first base but didn’t fare so well, so we can rule out that possibility. If Davis could handle himself in the outfield, a bench spot would almost be a certainity but as his defensive struggles continue, he’ll have to do his talking with his bat.
After Davis’ two home run day on March 16th, Ron Roenicke spoke about his spring performance via Adam McCalvy:
He’s put us in a position where we’re talking about him and how he fits on the bench, what we can do with our last two [or] three spots. If you need a right-handed hitter, right now he may be the best hitter we have.
Even if the Brewers use Davis solely as a pinch-hitter and never rely on him in the outfield, it’d still be a useful way to fill a bench spot. Heck, I’d take almost anyone over Green.
Davis deserves a roster spot and it would be a major crime if the Brewers decided not to offer him one. Either way, Milwaukee’s bench will be one the worst in baseball but Davis will lighten the burden and will increase Miller Park’s firework output.
Would you like to see Khris Davis on the Brewers opening day roster?