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Drastic times call for drastic measures: Chris Davis needs to become Orioles' leadoff hitter

Drastic times call for drastic measures: Chris Davis needs to become Orioles' leadoff hitter
Baltimore Orioles' Chris Davis reacts to a called third strike in the ninth inning against the Blue Jays recently. The Orioles won 6-2 in 12 innings. (Fred Thornhill / AP)

Patience is no longer a virtue when it comes to the marathon slump that has turned Chris Davis into a strikeout/groundout machine. Manager Buck Showalter needs to do something dramatic to change the subject and alter Davis' mindset at the plate.

First of all, he needs to sit tonight against Oakland A's left-hander Ross Detwiler, even if Detwiler would seem to be the perfect guy to cure everyone in the Orioles lineup of what ails them at the plate.

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Thursday, Showalter needs to move Adam Jones back into the cleanup spot and -- believe it or not -- put Davis at the top of the batting order. It worked when Jones was discombobulated earlier this season and it could help put Davis into a different frame of mind while he still has time to turn his season around.

No doubt, Davis is feeling a ton of pressure in the first year of his huge contract and he wants to be the guy in the superhero outfit on his new bobblehead (which will be given out to the first 20,000 fans 15-and-over on Aug. 20). He has continued to play solid defense at first base, but the run-production/RISP gap at the heart of the lineup needs to be filled before the Orioles waste an opportunity to cash in on some very winnable games during this road trip.

Moving him to the top of the batting order might seem counterintuitive, but even during his worst stretches, he's an on-base threat because he's willing to accept walks. Including this deep slump, Davis has a respectable .330 OBP. Leading him off should convince him to go to the opposite field more and stop getting smothered by the right-side defensive shift that has been employed so successfully against him.

And it's time to move Jones back into the middle of the order anyway. He has five of the Orioles 10 hits in the first two games of the four-game series against the A's and the only time he scored was on a home run.

Sure, it sounds crazy but not nearly as crazy as letting things continue. Davis has to play. Sitting him for more than a game is not an option, especially with newly re-acquired Steve Pearce sidelined (but holding an active roster spot) with a sore elbow.

It worked for Jones. It would obviously be very temporary and might just snap Davis out of his funk.

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