When the Baltimore Orioles acquired Chris Davis last season in a trade that sent Koji Uehara to the Texas Rangers, I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.
Now, after watching “Crush” this season, I am pretty sure I know exactly how I feel.
Davis had himself a career year, his first full season in Baltimore. On the season, Davis set career bests with 32 home runs, 85 runs batted in, 139 hits, and 75 runs scored. His .270 batting average was his personal best since 2008.
One of the things I liked about Davis was his ability to play virtually anywhere. Over the course of the 2012 season, Crush found himself as the designated hitter, first baseman, right fielder, left fielder, and even picked up a win on the mound (I’ll talk about that later).
One of Davis’s best games came on August 24 against the Toronto Blue Jays. During the Orioles’ 6-4 victory, Davis hit three home runs and drove in four runs. Another strong game for Davis came against the Blue Jays again, this time at the end of September, when he hit two more home runs and drove in five as the O’s went on to crush the Jays 12-2.
In early May against the Boston Red Sox, Davis’s performance pretty much summed up how the Orioles as a whole played in 2012. It started off as perhaps one of his worst games ever, but Davis found a big way to contribute and help the O’s.
With the game going into extra innings, both teams were running out of pitchers. When the 16th inning rolled around, Buck Showalter literally had no one left to use, so Chris Davis stepped up. After his horrid at-bat performance, in which he went 0 for 8 with five strikeouts, Davis pitched two scoreless innings and went on to earn the win as Baltimore prevailed 9-6. That was the only time he pitched this year, but on paper, it’s pretty cool that he finished the year with a 1-0 record and a 0.00 ERA.
With the O’s preparing for 2013, I think Davis has earned himself a spot in the lineup with everything he did in 2012. His ability to chip in wherever needed fits right in with Buck’s team concept…and it doesn’t hurt he has 30-home-run power either. If 2012 is any indication of what Davis can do, then 2013 will provide us with many more Crush highlights.
by Andy Mindzak