Many Baltimore Orioles fans were somewhat surprised when they saw the O's starting lineup for Monday Night's game as powerful first baseman Chris Davis was moved to third base to replace the suspended Manny Machado. While some may know about Davis's history, third base is not the moon to him as he has a pretty large sample size of experience at the hot corner.
First off, while he did make a throwing error last night, Davis made a couple nice plays at third on balls that could be considered not routine whatsoever and he impressed several of our followers with his play defensively.
Now, as our headline and lead paragraph point out, Davis has a pretty large sample size at the hot corner during his professional career.
We will start the big leagues as Davis came up in the Texas Rangers organization and in his first season with the big league club, he played a MLB career high 32 games at third base in 2008 and committed just three errors in 78 chances. Over his career with the Rangers, he played 53 games at third base and made eight errors.
In 2011 he came over to Baltimore in a deal that saw both he and Tommy Hunter come over in exchange for Koji Uehara. Some may have forgotten, but Davis played more games (17) at third base in 2011 with the Orioles than he did at first base (16). In his 17 games at third in 2011 for Baltimore he made five errors in 33 chances.
He had not played a game at third for Baltimore since 2011 until this season, but also keep in mind that he has played both corner outfield spots for the Orioles as well. Overall in the big leagues, Davis has played 72 games at third and has committed 14 errors in 160 chances for a .913 fielding percentage. Incase you were wondering, Ryan Flaherty has a career .967 fielding percentage at third and Machado has a .969 career fielding percentage.
Davis's experience at third does not end in the big leagues however, and believe it or not, he has more career minor league games (226) at third, than he does at first (151). In 577 chances at third in the minors, Davis committed 54 errors.
We are not saying that Davis could be a Gold Glover at third base, but what we are saying is that Davis is an adequate fill in while Machado serves his suspension, especially if there is a left hander on the mound as it enables the Orioles to get the entire trio of Nelson Cruz, Steve Pearce, and Delmon Young into the lineup.
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