How To Fix Texas Rangers First-Baseman Chris Davis
Let's get one thing straight before we go any further.
Chris Davis can flat out hit.
He can mash with the best of them, which is why the Rangers have got to get him back on track.
At the moment, Davis is stuck in a ridiculous slump that begins and ends with confidence. His body language both going to the plate and heading back to the dugout screams of defeat, even before he steps in the box.
For whatever reason, this slump has gone to the kid's head. That is what needs to be fixed. If it was a mechanical issue, Rudy Jaramillo would have it fixed by now.
Even the Rangers' hitting guru says the slump is mental.
So what do the Rangers do about it?
Well, it's not exactly simple as any remedy brings some risk to the table.
If you bench him for a few days, and he still doesn't hit when he returns then his confidence will be in even worse shape.
If you send him to the minors and he starts hitting again, he'll be terrified of another slump. In other words, back to back hit-less games upon his return could put him right back where he is now.
Neither of those options are exactly optimal, so the Rangers have to find something else.
Step One: Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan, and Ron Washington sit down and have a chat with the young hitter. A quick and to the point discussion to let him know he's going to be in the lineup and will not be sent down. After all, what he lacks at the plate, he makes up for with his glove.
Also, by telling Davis he won't be sent down to the minors, the Rangers will display their faith in the kid; which could be a shot in the arm for his psyche.
Step Two: Switch Davis and Andrus in the order. Andrus has proved his ability to handle the bat in the majors, let him hit a couple of spots higher in the order.
Hitting in front of Kinsler should get Davis more fastballs to hit, instead of the breaking junk he sees every night.
Step Three: Wait for the kid to eventually mash his way out of the slump. Hitters always say you have to hit your way out of a slump. Until Davis breaks through, keep plugging him into the nine hole and let his defense help the team win.
If these steps are taken, and do the job, Chris Davis will emerge a better hitter and a better all around baseball player.
Of course, the Rangers could very well opt for one of the other options and send the kid back to AAA Oklahoma City.
Either way, it's a tough call for the Rangers.
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