Cardinals: Left-handed reliever Tyler Lyons went on the 10-day DL with a sprained left elbow. Right-hander Mike Mayers was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. Lyons missed two weeks earlier in the season with a strained back. His elbow bothered him while he was throwing on Thursday, and he was sent for tests that found no significant damage.
ARLINGTON, Texas Charlie Morton couldn’t do much to correct an erratic outing that the Houston right-hander ripped as bordering on embarrassing.
Anyway, the record for fewest runs in a season by a qualified player is Leo Cardenas of the 1972 Angels with 25. Davis is on pace for 24 in 146 games. Cardenas’ achievement is pretty remarkable because he didn’t just limp past 500 plate appearances he batted 602 times. He hit .223/.272/.282 with six home runs. That was a legendarily bad offensive team as the Angels averaged just 2.93 runs per game. No wonder the AL instituted the DH in 1973.
The only other two qualifiers with fewer than 30 runs scored are Fred Raymer of the 1905 Boston Beaneaters with 26 runs (he hit .211/.232/.247) and Mario Guerrero of the 1978 A’s with 27 runs. Guerrero actually hit an almost respectable .275/.302/.345 in 546 PAs. Get this: He started 41 games in the third spot in the lineup and hit .333 … and still scored just nine runs in those games.
I would guess Davis has a shot, if only because of the most important criteria (besides sucking): playing time. Davis is signed for four more seasons after this one, at a hefty price of $23 million per season. With such a heavy investment in Davis, and this season already lost, the Orioles may have little choice but to plow forward and hope Davis can figure things out.
And if he doesn’t? As one reader responded to me, I can’t wait to tell my grandkids the Orioles couldn’t sign Manny Machado because they instead signed Chris Davis.