Chris Davis

© Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Davis Controversy

May 25, 2018 - 2:26 pm

By Tim Barbalace

To say Chris Davis has struggled since signing a 7 year 161 million dollar contract in 2016 would be a severe understatement.  He has a .209 batting average with 479 strikeouts in that span and has been even worse this year batting .154 with only eight extra base hits.  His performance and work ethic have recently been called into question by Jim Palmer.

Wow. Jim Palmer did not hold back his thoughts on Chris Davis tonight

The pressure of living up to the richest contract in Orioles history has to weigh on Davis, but that can't be an excuse for poor play.  Davis' numbers have declined precipitously since batting .262 with 47 homers in 2015.  Davis has been in a multi-year slump that he can't figure out.

"I know the things that I tried to make adjustments and correct," Davis told reporters in Chicago.  "And it’s frustrating for me every day to come in here and not see a return for that. The way things are going right now, the last thing I want to hear about is someone in the organization questioning my work ethic, but I guess that is where we’re at.”

Scott Coolbaugh, who has ties with Davis back in the Rangers organization, didn't exactly come to Davis' defense when he spoke to the media in Chicago.  Coolbaugh said he met with Davis three times during the winter to go over his mental approach at the plate.

“Look, I’m rooting for Chris and have known him a long time," Coolbaugh said.  "I am here, available every day for any player that wants to work and make any changes they feel is necessary. I think it’s up to Chris to decide what he wants. All the resources are here for him."

There is no easy solution to Chris Davis' struggles --eating the rest of the contract is not one.  Davis is signed through 2022 and is owed 17 million dollar base salary annually with deferred money.  There is no simple fix.

The Orioles can slide him down toward the bottom of the lineup.  Davis should not be batting fifth like he has the past two games and should sit against left-handed starters.

He is making too much money to waste away on the bench.  He still has value with his glove at first.  The O's need to put him in the best position to succeed; that's all they can do.

It's pretty clear we have already seen the best of Chris Davis.  Gone are the days of effortless opposite field home runs and striking fear in opposing pitchers.  It's been a sad, rapid decline of a former All-Star