This weekend, Manager Ken Macha could have announced what role Doug Davis would play for the pitching staff and how that might affect the rest of the roster. Instead, Ken Macha announced Doug Davis will most likely make a start for the team sometime before the All Star break. First, however, he will make a third rehab start June 30 in Class A ball in Appleton.
By: Melissa S. Wollering
Pitcher Doug Davis completed his second rehab tune-up last Thursday night with a solid outing for Triple-A Nashville. Davis pitched five scoreless frames, retiring 16 of 19 Memphis Redbirds hitters, allowing just two hits and striking out nine.
“I’m ready, I’m ready to go,” says Davis. “But as Supp would say, that’s why I’ve got a locker down here and they’ve got an office up there,” says Davis.
There has been no shortage of pitching options for the Brewers this season. Rather, Manager Ken Macha has been busy continuously reevaluating the contributions his pitchers are making.
Right-hander Kameron Loe is keeping opponents quiet, holding them to a .149-ish batting average in his first eleven appearances. John Axford is six for six in save opportunities. David Riske is back after successful injury rehab, while Todd Coffey is now looking to get back on tracking after not being able to retire a batter in his first outing back Tuesday. Zack Braddock, Carlos Villanueva and Trevor Hoffman are all options and Chris Capuano is still transitioning from starter to reliever. So what goes through Davis’ mind?
“Just different things that could happen; whether they want a six-man rotation or someone’s going to get traded,” says Davis. “Unfortunately, there is a huge in-between. Someone goes to the bullpen or I go to the bullpen and somebody goes down. There could be a lot of different things.”
Davis acknowledges being sent to the bullpen isn’t out of the question but says his brief attempts at relief pitching have not been fruitful.
“Of course, I would like to stay in the starting rotation because I’ve been that way my whole career and failed out of the bullpen before,” says Davis. “I wouldn’t like to start it now but I may not have a choice. I would take the bullpen job as a challenge and something in my career that I would like to overcome down the line. I know I’m not going to be a starter the rest of my career.”
Davis has never had to come back from any ailment or injury related to game-play, rather he has had to work his way back to mound after his 2008 surgery to remove thyroid cancer and his more recent inflammation of the heart. Davis has been on the disabled list since May 16 and says this heart condition has taken longer to heal than he thought, but that a game-related injury would be worse.
“I wouldn’t know how to come back off something like that,” says Davis. “I’ve always been 100% arm-wise and never had a problem with my pitching arm, never had a torn labrum.”
Staying healthy and remaining a starter are certainly two of Doug Davis’ desires right now but. But the lefty says contributing to the Brewers organization trumps some of those desires.
“I want to be part of this team. Any way I can help, it doesn’t really matter to me.”