Khris Davis is set to make his Rangers debut on Sunday against the Mariners in the series finale at Globe Life Field, if not sooner. Texas activated Davis from the injured list on Saturday, optioning Eli White to Triple-A Round Rock. While he’s not in the lineup for Saturday’s game, manager Chris Woodward said he’s available off the bench and will start at designated hitter on Sunday.
Davis was one of the Rangers’ signature offseason moves — with Elvis Andrus traded to Oakland for the slugger. He adds another right-handed power bat to Texas’ lefty-heavy lineup.
“He feels healthy, his body feels good, swing [looks good],” Woodward said. “I expect, or assume that it won’t be perfect at first, obviously, with him not having played every single day up to this point. But I do expect him to be [OK]. He said he’s fine. He said timing-wise, he’s in a good place, so it feels good and his body feels good. That’s the most important.”
Davis has been sidelined since March 24, when he suffered a Grade 2 left quad strain in a Spring Training game. He got off to a slower start in camp, but was starting to hit his stride before he got hurt. He was hitting .219/.306/.743 with two homers and six RBIs at the time of the injury, but hit .429 (6-for-14) over his final five games.
During his rehab assignment at Round Rock, Davis went 0-for-4 in his lone appearances against the Oklahoma City Dodgers. At the alternate training site before the start of the Minor League season, he went 1-for-10 with three walks in three games.
The Rangers now have a plethora of outfield bats with Davis’ return, including Joey Gallo, David Dahl, Willie Calhoun and Adolis García. Calhoun has been the Rangers’ most consistent hitter since coming off the IL himself — entering Saturday’s game with a .338/.403/.492 slash line.
Woodward said it’s a good problem to have to construct the lineup if everybody is raking at the same time.
“I’ll manage that and obviously communicate with these guys,” Woodward said. “But they know. They’re not dumb and they see what our roster looks like. If everybody’s being productive, that’s a winning team and a championship-caliber offense. That’s what we want. It’s just going to be dialogue with me and the players and trying to help them understand that this is a team thing and not everybody can play every day.”
White made the Opening Day roster for the first time in his professional career, but was hitting just .127 through 20 games this season. Woodward said he wants White to get more consistent at-bats in Triple-A and build up his confidence in order to make it back to the big leagues.
“In Spring Training, he made some quality swing adjustments,” Woodward said. “I think in the last week, he’s probably made the most significant swing adjustments that actually helped him in the games. I’m excited to see him go down and play every day and get really good and put this to the test and see this work on a daily basis. I think that’s what he needs. He just needs to go out and play, let it fly, let it rip and become a little bit more aggressive.”