ARLINGTON, Texas — On Saturday, the Texas Rangers welcomed designated hitter Khris Davis back after a quad injury in the later stages of spring training forced him to miss at least the first 34 games of the regular season.
To make room on the active roster, the Rangers optioned outfielder Eli White to Triple-A Round Rock.
Davis isn't in the lineup for Saturday night's contest with the Seattle Mariners. From the outset, Rangers manager Chris Woodward plans to employ Davis primarily against left-handed pitchers.
However, his bat doesn't have to be in the lineup for him to make an impact. Woodward praised Davis' presence in the clubhouse during spring training. Now, he's coming back to a tight-knit clubhouse that is playing a fun brand of baseball. Woodward believes Davis' return is only a good thing for the young group in Arlington.
"I would expect that to be the same," Woodward said. "He's just got a way about him that makes people feel comfortable, but at the same time, go out and compete with one another."
But let's not forget about that bat of his. Rangers fans know all too well of the impact Davis can have in the middle of a lineup. As a matter of fact, Davis has done the most of his damage throughout his career against the Rangers as a member of the Oakland A's, earning the nickname "Ranger Killer."
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In 79 games against Texas, Davis slashed .271/.360/.662 (1.021 OPS) with 32 home runs and 80 RBI.
Now, the Rangers hope he can recapture some of the 2016-2018 form where he compiled three consecutive 40-homer seasons. However, the Rangers have enough younger players hitting at the moment. What those guys could really benefit from is guy like Davis who brings valuable experience into the clubhouse.
"He definitely brings a presence of, you know, he's been there, he's done that, he's been on winning teams," Woodward said. "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."
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