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Davis Crash-lands in OKC, Again

By Jason K. Thompson

Chris Davis is one of my favorite players, and his major leage career is not done yet. But for now, he's back with the triple-A Oklahoma Redhawks while Justin Smoak will be the new starting first baseman. The word on Smoak is that he has been producing quality at-bats all season so far with the Redhawks and GM Jon Daniels says they want to reward players for that, which is why they moved Elvis up to the lead-off spot earlier this week.

Davis just hasn't gotten it going yet; he's hitting .188 with no HR's and 1 RBI. Smoak, on the other hand, is hitting .326, and has 16 walks and and OBP of .500. Chris Davis puts up big numbers in triple-A, too, and he may be one of those four-A players for a while. But hey, Nelson Cruz was one of those for a long time, and look where he is now. So the future can still be bright for Davis.

What I really like about this move is the message it sends to the players and the fans. The front office expects to win, and they will not put up with unproductive players. The quick leash on Frank Francisco, Julio Borbon, and now Davis indicate this. Compare that to last year, when Davis was struggling worse than he is this year, but was allowed to flounder around at the plate until the middle of the summer. The Rangers aren't in dire straights yet in the West; they're only three games back and they haven't even played the A's yet. But we do need at least another player who's going to make the opposing pitchers actually pitch, and hopefully Smoak will be a guy like that. It'll also be nice to get Kinsler back, and don't look now, but Derek Holland is 2-0 and has a 0.46 ERA for OKC in his first three starts. He has allowed only one run on a solo HR in 19.2 innings, and has 15 strike-outs to 3 walks. I mean, those are Neftali Feliz-type numbers. If we need another pitcher down the road, I have a guess as to who will be back in Arlington.