Three players who aren’t doing themselves any favors so far this spring:
The thirty-three-year-old designated hitter and sometimes left fielder needs to start hitting. After going 0-for-3 yesterday, Davis is batting .091 with no RBIs. The Rangers already had too many hitters who can’t hit. They didn’t need to trade for another. He certainly doesn’t fit into their youth movement or plans for the future. He could possibly be cut before the season starts, except for one thing. The guy he is competing with is failing as well.
You can’t hold his miserable 2020 season against him. He had his jaw shattered in spring training. That will make anyone skittish to get back in the box. But he’s played parts of four seasons, and three of those have been very unremarkable. He needs to prove he has worth to the Rangers, and the only way to do that is to hit. He, too, is batting .091 this spring. He’s battling it out with Davis for DH. Neither guy is winning. Davis has the more proven track record.
In addition to being their centerfielder, the Rangers want Taveras to be their leadoff hitter. That’s a lot to ask of a twenty-two-year-old with only a handful of minor league games above Single-A ball, and thirty-three major league games. Just because you want the guy to do it doesn’t mean he’s ready. And just because you’ve been unsuccessful at finding a centerfielder doesn’t mean you force it on a kid who had a less than stellar offensive season in 2020. Leading off is not something you would expect from a hitter who strikes out as often as Taveras. Like Davis and Calhoun, he, too, is hitting just .091 this spring.