The Chris Davis leadoff experiment hasn’t worked in Baltimore’s favor

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis had struggled to get a hit before Tuesday’s game against the Houston Astros, but things went further in the wrong direction for him in yesterday’s 10-5 loss.

HOUSTON — Davis struck out four times against the Astros, seeing his slash line dip to .050/.174/.050 on the young season. In five games as Baltimore’s leadoff hitter, Davis has just one hit and has struck out five times to match the games that he has played in. After Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Twins, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said he wasn’t “married to” Davis being the leadoff hitter.

“Like I told you, I’m not married to it,” Showalter said on Sunday. “But we are certainly looking for something to try to get him going a little bit early in the season. That hasn’t been the case so far, but like I said when we first started talking about it, you know, we’ll look at it, step back, and we’ll see the cause and effect [whatever you want to call it]. We’re always looking on ways to get better, but Chris [Davis] is not the only one right now, with three games into the season and 159 left, that’s not exactly doing what we know they’re gonna do.”

On Wednesday, Baltimore will employ third baseman Tim Beckham in the leadoff spot. Beckham has started the season in a slump as well, batting .158/.158/.368 in five games. Despite that, Beckham has seen some success leading off before, batting .259 in 212 at-bats.

Davis, on the other hand, will be on the bench in Wednesday’s matchup against the Astros. Most likely, it is for him to rest and refocus his mind on hitting. In his place at first base will be Danny Valencia, who has one hit and one walk in three plate appearances this season.

One alternative that Baltimore could make is to place Davis in the eighth spot in the lineup. Davis bats .292 in 449 career at-bats in the eighth spot. It could give him more opportunities to see pitchers work before his place in the lineup.

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(Photo Credit: Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Kyle Andrews

Born in Norfolk, VA, raised in the Baltimore area and currently living there. Originally pursuing a degree in exercise science at McDaniel, Andrews became interested in sports writing. He was the sports editor of McDaniel's newspaper in 2014 and became an English major, and hasn't looked back since. Bylines at Fox Sports 1340 AM, Bullets Forever, Baltimore Beatdown, Underdog Dynasty and many other sites.