Outfielder Khris Davis was the last player to claim a spot on the Milwaukee Brewers’ Opening Day roster. There is no question the Brewers made the right decision to add Davis instead of first baseman/catcher Blake Lalli.
“I just had a big grin on my face,” Davis told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel after receiving the news that he made the team. “This is something I’ve prepared for all my life. I just worked hard and I’m thankful to be here. While I’m here, I’m not going to take anything for granted. I’m just going to work as hard as I can and be the best teammate I can be.”
Davis was so successful during Spring Training that it would have been a colossal mistake to leave him off of the 25-man roster. The right-handed batter posted a .262 batting average with a team-high six home runs, 16 RBI, two stolen bases and one double in 61 at-bats. He certainly cooled down at the plate as he was batting .364 at one point this spring, but that is bound to happen to any young player in Major League camp.
The 25-year-old started numerous games in left field while Ryan Braun suited up for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. He recorded every putout that came his way, as he did not disappoint on defense.
Davis is certainly not perfect, but he proved that he is capable of putting up power numbers without having to see the plate every day. This is easily the top reason why manager Ron Roenicke decided to go with him over Lalli.
“Both of those guys had nice springs,” said Roenicke, according to JSOnline.com. “Lalli brings a lot with him. There were a lot of pros and cons to both guys. With the spring training Davis had, being able to come off the bench and drive the ball is important.”
Obviously, a majority of Davis’ time will be spent as a pinch-hitter. With outfielder Logan Schafer on the team as well, it will be rare for Davis to see time in the field. This means he will have to make his living in limited at-bats. The good news is he will be Roenicke’s go-to guy off the bench until he proves that he is incapable of getting on base in pinch-hit situations.