Welcome to “Get To Know a Nat.” At this point of the year, we’ll be going over some players who’ve made it to the big club since the season started. We’ll look at what we thought about those players in Spring Training, what they’ve done since, and what we hope they’ll do now they are in the Bigs!
Name: Erik R. Davis
Nickname(s): Mini-Clip (Clippard), Clippard Jr., The guy who is exactly like Tyler Clippard but isn’t Tyler Clippard.
DOB: October 8, 1986 (Age
27 26 #MathIsHard)
Twitter?: @edavis19 (unverified)
San Diego, CA Okay so this says San Jose, and this says Mountain View. I say…California for sure.
Position: Relief Pitcher
With the Nats Since: Acquired via Trade with San Diego in 2011, MLB Debut June 2, 2013
Notes From Spring Training Post: I would like to be the first to announce that the decided nickname for Erik Davis (a panel of Nats experts were involved) is “Mini-Clip” because he is, essentially, Tyler Clippard 2.0. Goggles? Check. Hat pulled down over them a little? Check. Finger lick after a pitch? Check. Even his stance, his wind-up and his delivery all mimic Tyler Clippard- and there is a chance he will mimic Clippard’s success too.
Like Clip before him, Davis is also transitioning from starting to relief. He was added to the 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, and did very well in his outings with Harrisburg, and pretty good in Syracuse last year. It’s a stacked bullpen this year for the Nationals, but I think Davis is fairly close to getting a shot to play for the Nats-if he was a lefty, I’d say he’d be a shoe in to at least be up for a cup of coffee this year. As it stands, Davis will simply have to continue to impress in the minors and be ready if he gets the call.
Since Then: Davis hadn’t posted incredible numbers in Syracuse this year before he was called up, but the Nationals needed relief help so he got the call. As we said in the Spring, he’s posted good numbers in previous years and (by the box scores anyway) didn’t look completely overmatched in Syracuse. Since his debut with the team:
Not monster stuff, but good. 5 Ks out of 8 outs is pretty impressive, but he did get hit a bit. Still- that’s gonna happen. His fastball has sat right around 93 MPH and the Change at 85. The loopy curve is 78 MPH. He’s mostly using the fastball (50% of the time-ish) and then the curve and change come in for about 25% each. This is the strikeout formula. Set the batter up with the fastball, then take off some speed or If he keeps getting a 8 MPH difference between the FB/CH and mixing in the hook, he’s going to be an excellent strikeout pitcher.
Going Forward: The Team needs Davis to be one of a few young arms to step up. Henry Rodriguez didn’t work out, Ryan Mattheus broke his hand and Zach Duke…well… That’s a long man and two reliever spots that need to be filled and Davis is likely going to be trying for the Ryan Mattheus role. He’s capable of doing more than an inning per game (he was a starter after all) but I don’t think he’ll be the candidate to replace long-man Zach Duke. If Mattheus is healthy and can return in a few weeks Davis will have hopefully earned the H-Rod spot on the roster and won’t be sent back down. For the forseeable future, with relievers and starters down, Davis is going to have plenty of opportunity to show he belongs in Washington.
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