The boy can sure swing that stick. Photo: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
I have written articles like this before, but the last time the title was “Why Ron Roenicke Loves Mark Kotsay”. Today’s piece is something a little different. I am going to try to look inside the mind of a man who makes little to no sense and try to understand why his best Left Fielder is only playing 3 times a week.
First, some back story. Khris Davis was a 7th round draft pick back in 2009. He is currently 25 years of age and attended college baseball powerhouse, Cal State Fullerton. In four and a half seasons of minor league baseball, he made a name for himself and now finds himself playing for the Milwaukee Brewers. His is a feel good story that we should all be embracing and enjoying, but he is being hidden on the bench by our skipper. I am going to use my warped, and often pointless, logic to try and figure out what Ron Roenicke is doing and why.
Can we all agree that Khris Davis is a better player than Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl? If you are on the fence, just look at this past series with the Seattle Mariners. In the two games Davis started, the team scored 20 runs. Davis rode the pine in Sunday’s finale…the team scored 0 runs while both Gindl and Schafer got to start in the outfield corners. That not good enough for you? In only 44 AB’s, Davis already has 11 hits, 3HR’s, and 8 RBI’s. Gindl and Schafer combined only have 3 HR’s and they have had 253 more combined AB’s. Still not doing anything for you? How about this? Or this?
The fact is, the guy gives this team a little extra something that our other two Left Field options do not…and no, I am not just talking about height (although, the thought had occurred to me). So, why isn’t RRR playing him on an everyday basis?
Many of you will read this and throw all of your WAR and Saber metrics crap at me, but neither Gindl nor Schafer are starting major league outfielders. They are the future Matt Stairs’ and Mark Kotsay’s of baseball. We need a real outfielder playing in Left Field every day and to continue the wasted experiment that is Logan Schafer, or the 5’5” 210 pound option of Gindl…is a waste of everyone’s time.
Now that I have given you a little background about my feelings, here are some possible reasons that Ron Roenicke does not like Khris Davis:
Scenario 1 – The K. Davis Conundrum
Kentrail Davis and Khris Davis were drafted in the same year (2009), play the same position, and are the same age. They were teammates at multiple levels of the Brewers farm system. Perhaps this causes a great deal of confusion for Ron Roenicke, who as an old man is slowly losing his memory and sanity. Maybe he is embarrassed that he may say Kentrail, when he means Khris. So in order to alleviate any tension and embarrassment, Ron just omits Khris as often as possible. It is always hard for a man to admit he is slipping, but if you have been watching the Brewers this season you are aware that Ron Roenicke is on a landslide. He is terrible at constructing a lineup (see batting Rickie Weeks lead-off with a .200 batting average) and mismanages pitchers worse than any skipper we have had in my lifetime (including Ken Macha). The K. Davis theory is a very strong possibility, especially considering the Social Security status of our commander-in-chief.
Scenario 2 – Khris Davis is not Chris Davis
This one is a little weird, but not out of the realm of possibilities. The Baltimore Orioles have a player named Chris Davis, who is a frontrunner in the race for AL MVP. Maybe RRR, does not want voters to get confused and vote for our Khris Davis. If he (Khris) gets a bunch of MVP votes, in a league that he doesn’t even play in…the league could implode upon itself. Then Bud Selig’s face will melt off, like a Nazi soldier from “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. In order to make sure the game does not turn into a black hole and to make sure that Bud Selig stays alive long enough to have every PED user executed, RRR keeps K-Khris on the bench.
Scenario 3 – The Time Travel Scenario
Ron Roenicke is a time traveler, who has visited two alternate universes. In one universe, Khris Davis becomes one of the best baseball players in his generation and the world is destroyed by his abilities. Don’t ask me how, because my imagination only goes so far. In the other universe, Khris leaves baseball and begins to work for a research clinic that discovers the cure for AIDS, cancer, MS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and IBS. In the 2nd universe, people live longer and the world thrives. Ron Roenicke has been sent back in time to make sure that it is the 2nd universe that takes hold of Khris Davis’ life. (yes, this is a rip-off of almost every time-travel movie ever made)
Scenario 4 – Khris Davis is TOO Good
Do you remember playing Little League? When I played, I was really small…like Caleb GIndl, but minus 150 pounds. My coach thought that I was too small to play every game, so he would let me go in and sub from time to time. Whenever he would put me in, I would do something amazing. One time I bunted a 3-run triple (ok, it was actually a single with two errors and only 1 run was really an RBI…but stop poking holes in my overall point), another time I robbed a home run in RF, and in my greatest triumph I had a pinch-hit walk off on my birthday. Every time my skipper put me in, I did something amazing. That never was enough to persuade him to give me more playing time though. Maybe Khris Davis and I are in the same boat. Some part of Ron Roenicke just doesn’t think that he can play every day, no matter how awesome he does when he is on the field. I feel your pain Khris, I feel your pain.
Scenario 5 – Ron Roenicke Wants the Little Guys to Succeed
Being a tiny guy himself, maybe something in Ron’s psyche is causing him to make horrible judgment calls about his player personnel. It is really hard to be small in sports. Every teams wants the “prototypical” size and weight. If you do not fit into the predetermined window, you are considered small/weak/fragile/wiry/too low to the ground/and so on. It is easy to understand why someone would root for these guys, even if it came at the cost of losing games. Since you sit in a position of power, you can try to dictate how these smaller players pan out. Unluckily for Ron Roenicke, his insistence on letting them play could lead to his pink slip from the Brewers.
Look, I really like Khris Davis. If you read our site, you know that I judge players by the “eye test”. To me, Khris Davis passes with flying colors and Schafer and Gindl fail…but you know what they get? F+…the plus is for their effort. I believe both guys try really hard, but they just are not MLB material.
In closing, Ron…get your head out of your Macha and start playing the real talent. The season is lost, so stop giving guys “tries”. Khris Davis helps the team win. Let’s try focusing on winning for the next 7 weeks or so and just see what happens.