A’s Davis healthy, poised to re­turn to old self

Enterprise-Record (Chico) - - SPORTS - By Shayna Rubin Bay Area News Group

Any lineup the Oak­land A’s throw out in this short­ened 2020 sea­son ri­vals the best in base­ball. Add Sean Mur­phy’s pow­er­ful swing to an of­fense that ranked among the league’s top 10 in most ma­jor sta­tis­ti­cal cat­e­gories in 2019 and those line­ups get scarier.

Add in Khris Davis swing­ing to his 2018-level pro­duc­tion? Man­ager Bob Melvin shook his head, his eyes widened at the thought.

“Add a nor­mal KD sea­son to this of­fen­sive group, we have the chance to be re­ally good,” he said.

Davis wasn’t com­fort­able last year dis­cussing his un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally slow pro­duc­tion at the plate, but bits and pieces came to the fore­front. A hip con­tu­sion in­curred af­ter he chased a foul ball hard into the rail­ing at PNC Park in Pitts­burgh last May, a hand in­jury in­curred later on, spi­raled into un­shak­able dis­com­fort, then men­tal games and doubt.

On Fri­day, with a 23 home run, .220 av­er­age, .679 OPS 2019 sea­son be­hind him, Davis could put it in con­cise per­spec­tive.

“That’s one thing I took last year, I didn’t feel good phys­i­cally a lot of the days,” he said. “And that’s what held me down, I couldn’t over­come it.”

Davis feels good, he said. Coaches no­tice he’s find­ing his rhythm, too. His 2019 sea­son brings up an in­ter­est­ing dilemma in this 2020 ex­per­i­ment. How do you play the hot hand and man­age the cold slump?

In a 162-game sea­son, coaches have the space to let a pro­longed cold streak thaw.

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