Nov 17, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
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.
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