When the Baltimore Orioles signed Chris Davis to the richest contract in franchise history in 2016, Davis was coming off two of the best years of his career. In 2013 finished third in the American League MVP race thanks to career-best marks in homers (53), runs batted in (138) and batting average (.286). The following season he went through injuries, slumps and a 25-game suspension for amphetamine. But he bounced back in 2015, hitting 47 homers and knocking in 117 runs.
Baltimore signed him in the hopes the 2013 and 2015 version of "Crush Davis" would show up for years to come, but that has been so unbelievably far from the case. He's fallen off in every hitting category with each passing year, and failed to reach 130 games played in each of the last two seasons. Making matters worse is that somehow, despite playing just 128 games in both 2017 and 2018, he's still finished inside the top 4 in the MLB in strikeouts. Futility might be an understatement when it comes to Davis' last few years.
And yet he's still finding ways to add to what might be the greatest slump in MLB history. We don't say this lightly. In fact, Davis is on the verge of history in the worst way possible. He's started this season 0-for-23, striking out 13 times, two of which came on Sunday against the New York Yankees. But the slump goes back further than that, all the way to last September 14, when Davis got his most recent hit against the Chicago White Sox. LAST. SEPTEMBER.
Since that double off Chicago's James Shields, Davis is 0-for-44 with 25 strikeouts, putting him just two hitless at-bats away from tying the all time record for consecutive plate appearances without a hit. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, two more hitless ABs from Davis will tie the mark of Eugenio Velez, who went hitless in his last 46 straight ABs to close out his 2011 season on the Los Angeles Dodgers. Three players held the previous record of 45, including current Milwuakee Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who went on his streak in 2011 as well.
Davis can CRUSH them all with a few more hitless ABs of his own, and with the way he's swinging he may set a record that will never be caught. On Monday the surprisingly 4-5 Orioles will take on the Oakland Athletics at Camden Yards, where Davis will look to snap out of it or continue the Sahara-desert-level dry spell.