BALTIMORE -- Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is ready to put 2017 behind him. Davis, who began training for the upcoming season around Christmastime, is approaching this year with a new outlook and is determined to more of a complete hitter."The strikeouts have continued to climb and the average has
BALTIMORE -- Orioles first baseman Chris Davis is ready to put 2017 behind him. Davis, who began training for the upcoming season around Christmastime, is approaching this year with a new outlook and is determined to more of a complete hitter.
"The strikeouts have continued to climb and the average has continued to drop," Davis said Monday morning on MLB Network. "Last year, I had way too many called strikes. Called third strikes. Way too many counts where I was taking two strikes before I ever took a swing. For me, it's a matter of being a little too passive or too picky and not trying to capitalize on the pitches early in the count."
The slugger, who in September requested a meeting with local media in which he shouldered much of the lineup blame and vowed to combat his strikeouts, reiterated those points Monday morning. Davis, who was on his way to the first of two offseason workout sessions, said a lot of what has changed is the way the opposition aligns when he's at the plate.
"A lot of it is just the shift. I've been shifted since -- I can remember -- 2011, I think, was probably the year it was the most consistent throughout teams," Davis said. "The last couple years I've tried so hard to try to hit against the shift, to play that game with them, that I got away from who I was."
Davis called it a "cat-and-mouse game" that has burned him at the plate. He had a career year in 2013, in which he hit 53 homers with 138 RBIs to go with a .286 batting average (and 199 strikeouts over 160 games) In '16 -- the first year of a club record, seven-year, $161 million contract -- Davis hit 38 homers with 84 RBIs while batting .221 with a career-high 219 strikeouts. Last year, he played in 128 games and hit 26 homers with 61 RBIs, batting .215 with 195 strikeouts.
Davis, who lives in Texas in the offseason, was set to do some running drills on Monday morning, followed by a session in the weight room.
"As I've grown older, I've learned a lot and feel pretty good about my training regimen now," Davis said.
As for hitting?
"I'll hit four times a week, sometimes five times a week," Davis said. "I've learned over the years more is not better, especially when it comes to your swing."
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.