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Davis to Try Bunting vs. Shift


TonySoprano

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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>"I think there are definitely situations where I need to bunt? Should Davis play small ball?<a href="http://t.co/38nj5mQZhD">http://t.co/38nj5mQZhD</a> <a href="http://t.co/iofTJN7gFt">pic.twitter.com/iofTJN7gFt</a></p>— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) <a href="

">February 14, 2015</a></blockquote>

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"I think there are definitely situations where I need to bunt, and I know there was some frustration last year obviously with my batting average being as low as it was - not only on my part but the fan base and maybe even on some of my teammates' part - as far as me hitting into the shift," Davis said earlier this week on the "Hot Stove Show" on 105.7 The Fan.

"First of all, when you're not swinging the bat well and you're kind of trying to find it, for me, I want to go up there and have an at-bat. I don't want to just lay a bunt down. There were times last year when I did lay a bunt down, but for me it's really a comfort thing. It's different going out there and working off a machine or even a BP arm and laying balls down the third base line and going into a game and doing it. For me, it was just a comfort thing and I have worked on it this offseason. I've probably worked on it more this offseason than I have in the past. If it's a one-run game, I'm probably not going to lay one down, but there are situations where unselfishly it's probably the best thing to do. It's definitely a weapon I can use against other teams.

"I think the biggest thing for me last year was just seeing how drastic the shift was. I remember when Texas came in, I hit something like three or four balls on a line in the four hole, which is right over the first baseman's right shoulder. These are balls that most of the time are going to be singles, if not doubles, and the second baseman caught them at his chest on a line, and I was just thinking, 'Man, that's not even fair. Those are good hits right there that are being taken away.' "

Few teams employ the shift more than the Orioles. It's become a common move now, and not just on the right side.

"I think you saw it a lot last year on a wider scale with right-handers as well," Davis said. "In the past, usually Big Papi, your big left-handed hitters, you'd see them shift a little bit. Jim Thome was another guy. But last year was the first time I really saw right-handers and left-handers get shifted and it changed the game. It really did."

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In case anybody is wondering, Davis laid down two bunts last season and one resulted in a base hit. Prior to last season he had never bunted in a Major League game.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=9272&position=1B#advanced

David Ortiz has 6 bunt hits on 12 attempts over his career, with only one attempt total over the last two seasons, and two attempts total over the last four seasons.

http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=745&position=DH#advanced

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Yes, he should when the situation calls for a bunt for a hit. If successful, it is a huge psychological lift for a batter, especially if that batter is battling a slump. And since IMO hitting is very much psychological, it can start a batter on a good streak at the plate. I can testify to this from personal experience.

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I don't want him to bunt, I want him to learn to take a 2 strike down and away pitch and slap it into LF. No reason he shouldn't be able to hit weak ground balls down the line that would go for doubles.

Just boggles my mind that he hasn't worked on slapping the occasional pitchers pitch to LF. I would think it would be a lot easier and more natural than bunting.

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I don't want him to bunt, I want him to learn to take a 2 strike down and away pitch and slap it into LF. No reason he shouldn't be able to hit weak ground balls down the line that would go for doubles.

Just boggles my mind that he hasn't worked on slapping the occasional pitchers pitch to LF. I would think it would be a lot easier and more natural than bunting.

Exactly what I came in here to say. I can't believe he can't learn to go the opposite field. Bunting seems extreme, though he's fairly fast for a big guy.

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Exactly what I came in here to say. I can't believe he can't learn to go the opposite field. Bunting seems extreme, though he's fairly fast for a big guy.

If it was that easy to go opposite field then everyone would do it and the shift wouldn't exist. It isn't like players that are being shifted against are not aware of how the defense is playing them.

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Exactly what I came in here to say. I can't believe he can't learn to go the opposite field. Bunting seems extreme, though he's fairly fast for a big guy.

He's very fast for a big guy. I think Gary and Jim (and whoever) sound repeatedly amazed with how quickly he runs the bases.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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If it was that easy to go opposite field then everyone would do it and the shift wouldn't exist. It isn't like players that are being shifted against are not aware of how the defense is playing them.

Keep your hands in front of the bat head. I'm not saying it's extremely easy, but these are the best hitters in the world. I don't think asking to shorten up the stroke and trying to punch it the other way is an extremely tall order.

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Keep your hands in front of the bat head. I'm not saying it's extremely easy, but these are the best hitters in the world. I don't think asking to shorten up the stroke and trying to punch it the other way is an extremely tall order.

Why does the shift exist then? Or why aren't you an MLB hitting coach? It can't be that easy. It isn't logical.

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