Davis has already been sitting for a week, having last stepped to the plate on June 11 against Boston, when he went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
When asked yesterday if his return was imminent, Buck was quite non-committal:
“It’s getting close,” Showalter said. “I know he didn’t have an off-day yesterday. Trust me. He worked on a lot of things. He worked at Camden Yards.
“It has nothing to do with who’s pitching. Nothing at all. When Chris and we all think that it’s time and he feels like he’s ready, it doesn’t matter who’s pitching, whether it’s a left-hander or a right-hander. When they and we decide that, then he’ll be in there regardless of who’s pitching. It has nothing to do with who’s pitching.”
This morning, FanGraphs posted an article in which David Laurila had sat down with Showalter and got some quotes on the changing game of baseball in general. Now, it’s not exactly clear when Buck said these things, but it seems safe to assume that it was some time over the past week or so.
When speaking about the way front offices have shifted in recent years, Buck dropped this little nugget (emphasis mine):
“But I’ll tell you one thing that did change. This offseason was the first time I saw front offices not do something they’ve done in the past. There was no collusion, no whatever. It was all about looking analytically at a player and saying, ‘He’s not worth X.’ And they stuck to it. Front offices are smarter with their contracts than they had been. Some of these that are held over… I guarantee you, if you sign a guy to a seven-year contract, you’re going to be lucky if you’re happy for four of those seven.”
Davis, of course, was signed to a seven-year $161 million contract following the 2015 season. The Orioles were happy with that contract for what looks to have been about one and a half years of the seven.
Is it a coincidence Buck used seven years as his example, and not six or eight? Possibly. But I’ll choose to believe that a certain seven-year contract is gnawing away at him just the way it is at us, as we all think about the future of the franchise, and where Buck may – or may not – factor in.