Now that we've had our chance to bask in the glory of a successful Silver Boot title defense, there's something out there that's a tad more relevant in the larger scheme of things than winning a shiny bauble: Chris Davis. Per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, the Rangers are reportedly considering changing their outfield mix up, with Josh Hamilton possibly sliding over to play center field on a more regular basis and Davis (145 PA, 19 HR, .374/.421/.878) being called up from Triple-A Round Rock to play left field.
Said general manager Jon Daniels of the notion: "Every time you look at the box score, it seems like he's hit two home runs. He's really gone off down there. [Bringing him back] is something we've talked about a little bit. He can play any of the four corner positions [left, right, first base or third base]. It's the reason we asked him to play some outfield. With his athleticism, we thought he could do it. He has shown he can."
So, the company line appears to be that Davis can at least muster enough range in a corner-outfield spot to not kill the pitching staff (or at least enough to justify giving him yet another shot), and that he's done enough in the minors to merit a major league roster spot that one of Endy Chavez or Craig Gentry can be dropped from the active roster. This also suggests that the Rangers feel they can live with the increased risk that follows playing Hamilton on a more frequent basis in center field, which, depending on your opinion of whether Texas should pony up huge cash to retain him beyond 2012, is either foolish or prudent. Well, provided that the Rangers follow through on their considerations.
Working under the assumption that Davis would actually receive something resembling consistent playing time, you'd have to figure that he'd play on an everyday basis against right-handers, manning one of 1B/LF/DH -- most likely left field, since doing so allows you to keep both Moreland and Young in the lineup -- and perhaps spelling Adrian Beltre here and there over at third base. That would seem to put Endy Chavez -- whose starts in center field against right-handers would be stolen away by Hamilton -- at the most risk of losing his roster spot to Davis, except that Chavez could hold some appeal to a National League club, in particular, and end up being claimed if he were to be designated for assignment, which would leave the Rangers' center field depth looking rather thin.
I'm not completely confident that a move is imminent here, and I'm still very skeptical of Davis's chances of prolonged major league success on the whole (nine walks against 41 strikeouts at Round Rock is a huge warning sign, period) ... but I also can't blame the Rangers for holding out hope that the light bulb has finally clicked on, and that his monster run at Round Rock proves it.