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Roster review: Erik Davis

Nov 17, 2013, 6:00 AM EST

Photo by USA Today Photo by USA Today

Age on Opening Day 2014: 27

How acquired: Trade, March 2011

MLB service time: 45 days

2013 salary+bonuses: N/A

Contract status: Arbitration-eligible in 2017, free agent in 2020

2013 Stats: 10 G, 8.2 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 12 SO, 1.269 WHIP, 1-0, 3.12 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 0.3 WAR

Quotable: “I guess you could say it’s been successful, the fact that I’ve gotten here a few times. But every person’s goal is to stay here. So while I have achieved some sort of success getting here, I haven’t gotten nearly to the point where I’ve been able to stay here.”

2013 analysis: Erik Davis was called up to the Nationals twice – in June and September – and made a minor impact on the season as a whole. He spent the majority of his year at Triple-A Syracuse where he went 3-7 with a 3.10 ERA. In ten games with the Nats, Davis flashed potential as a major league reliever. He only allowed runs one time in those appearances, giving up three to the Mets in a blowout loss on June 5. Those runs came in a game that was well out of hand when he took the mound. Aside from that forgettable evening, Davis threw nine scoreless outings.

For a former 13th round pick who spent five seasons in the minors before reaching The Show, Davis had a respectable first season in the majors. As stated in the quote above, it is now Davis’ goal to find a way to stay in Washington. He wasn’t afforded a permanent opportunity in 2013, but showed enough to suggest he can reach his goal sometime in the near future.

2014 outlook: Davis has good velocity on his fastball, averaging 92.9 miles per hour in the majors while using the pitch 61.6 percent of the time. His changeup also has potential and he’s not afraid to use it. Davis struck out 12 batters in 8 2/3 innings which shows he has the stuff to baffle major league hitters.

Given he enjoyed some success in his first year in the majors, and the fact the Nats will look for change in the bullpen in 2014, Davis should get a decent look in spring training for a roster spot. He may, however, be picked over for a free agent as the Nats are expected to load up on relievers. If this were any other year Davis would be nearly guaranteed a shot in 2014. But given their intentions with the bullpen, Syracuse may be the starting point for the right-hander come April.

  1. sjm308 - Nov 17, 2013 at 6:35 AM

    Just wondering, what would the salary be for a AAA relief pitcher? I realize if he makes the big club there is a set minimum established in the new CBA but how does it work for someone who is up and down all season. Not wishing that for “clip junior” but just curious. Thanks in advance.

  2. Joe Seamhead - Nov 17, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    I find myself really rooting for Erik to succeed. The injury that he suffered in college, and his recovery, and return to the mound, is nothing short of remarkable. He’s one tough young man!

    • Joe Seamhead - Nov 17, 2013 at 10:13 AM

      For those that don’t know the story of Erik Davis’ injury:

      http://sports.espn.go.com/ncaa/news/story?id=2878650

      • nats128 - Nov 17, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        Yes, and it was a Oriole named Ryan Flaherty who was the batter. Jordan Zimmermann had a similar line drive to the face that was a little lower in the jaw area.

        They call 3rd base the hot corner and a 3rd baseman is always in fielding position and 85 to 95 feet away from homeplate. A pitcher lands around 56 feet away from the batter when contact is made and they always arent in perfect fielding position or can react quick enough.

  3. Sam - Nov 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    I certainly hope the Nationals do not spend a lot of money on relievers. It definitely provides the least efficient return per dollar spent. I wish that I could say that Soriano was the exception last year and that it wouldn’t happen again, but, unfortunately, spending a lot of money on relievers rarely provides value.

    I really hope Davis gets a chance to compete for a bullpen spot next season.

    • Doc - Nov 17, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Me too, Sam.

      With Erik, Sammy, and some of the other prospects, we should try and do what the Cards have been doing with great success.

      Keep the Lerners’ money in your pocket Riz. Your record on spending on free agent pitchers, SP or relievers, is not good!

      • Sonny G 10 - Nov 17, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        Or you can keep some of the money in my pocket! :)

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