By Dante Miles | Contributor
Slugger Khris Davis’ much-anticipated debut will be against the Seattle Mariners at Globe Life Field in Arlington.
Davis, who missed the team’s first 34 games with a grade 2 left quad strain, pinch hit on Saturday night and is batting .1000 on the season.
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) May 9, 2021
Now that he’s warmed up, the former home run champ is scheduled to get the start at DH on Sunday.
And the Texas Rangers hope he has his home run bat with him.
After a rough start to the season, Rangers fans also hope the addition of a new face will help this team right the ship.
“He feels healthy, his body feels good, swing [looks good], Rangers manager Chris Woodward told MLB.com. “I expect, or assume that it won’t be perfect at first, obviously, with him not having played every single day up to this point.
“But I do expect him to be [OK]. He said he’s fine. He said timing-wise, he’s in a good place, so it feels good and his body feels good. That’s the most important.”
The debut of Davis should insert much-needed punch from the right side of the plate into a lineup dominated by left handed hitters.
Davis was acquired this offseason in a deal with the Oakland Athletics that saw Elvis Andrus and $13.5 million head to the Bay in exchange for Davis and two prospects.
The trade gives Davis, once considered one of the most dangerous power hitters in baseball, an opportunity to remind everyone how much he can contribute to a ballclub.
After posting three consecutive seasons hitting .247 with 40 plus homers and 100 plus RBI, Davis’ production dropped the past two seasons. He hit just 23 homers in 2019 and then hit just two homers in 85 at bats during the COVID season.
He and the Rangers are hoping a change of scenery is all that was needed.
But more than just his bat, the Rangers look forward to adding another veteran presence to the clubhouse that can mentor younger players, especially budding star Willie Calhoun.
The MLBbro Calhoun has been the Rangers’ most consistent outfielder and is currently slashing an impressive .348/.411/.911.
“(Khris Davis) definitely brings a presence of, you know, he’s been there, he’s done that, he’s been on winning teams,” Woodward told SI.com. “Just his attitude in general. He brings a calmness to the group. He brings a little bit of an edge at times. Just, ‘Hey, let’s go out and beat these guys.’ A lot of people feed off of that. The Oakland clubhouse said the same thing. Everybody kinda rallied around this guy all the time.”
Davis’ return comes at a time when the Rangers’ outfield is stocked with young talent that the rebuilding franchise needs to evaluate. So while he will certainly see playing time, it remains to be seen just how many at-bats he will be given.
With Calhoun, Adolis Garcia and Joey Gallo all playing outfield, Davis could see the bulk of his time at DH against right handed pitching.
Heading into Saturday night, the Rangers ranked 4th in hits, 8th in batting and 10th in home runs.
Despite the production on offense, the Rangers sit a game below .500 entering Sunday’s game.
If Davis is able to regain some of the magic he produced in the Bay, Woodward will have a problem on his hands that every manager would love.