Orioles Davis Retires Baseball

Chris Davis follows through on a two-run homer against the Chicago White Sox in 2019. Davis twice led the majors in home runs before his production declined amid injury problems during his final seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. Gail Burton/Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Chris Davis’ ascent and decline were quick and steep.

In between, he was one of baseball’s top home run hitters – and that’s what Baltimore Manager Brandon Hyde wanted to remember on the day Davis announced his retirement.

“Those really good years, those ’12 to ’17 years, he was a fixture in the lineup and a major run producer. He was a middle-of-the-order bat on a really, really good team,” Hyde said Thursday. “He’s done so much off the field as well. Great teammate – well liked in the clubhouse, well liked around the league.”

Davis became one of baseball’s most prodigious power hitters before his production dropped amid injury problems during his final seasons with the Orioles. Davis, 35, was going to miss the entire 2021 season after surgery in May to repair the labrum in his left hip.

“After an extended time dealing with my injury and recent hip surgery, I informed the Orioles about my decision to retire effective today,” Davis said in a statement released by the team. “I want to thank the Orioles partnership group, led by the Angelos family, the Orioles organization, my teammates and coaches.”

Next year was the final season of Davis’ $161 million, seven-year contract, a deal that became increasingly burdensome for the rebuilding Orioles.

Davis came to the Orioles in a 2011 trade from Texas. He hadn’t hit more than 21 homers in a season with the Rangers, but he hit 33 in his first full season with Baltimore. Davis led the majors with 53 homers in 2013 and 47 in 2015. He finishes his career with 295 home runs in 13 seasons.

Davis’ free-swinging ways led to high home run and strikeout totals and low batting averages. He hit .221 with 38 homers and a major league-leading 219 strikeouts in 2016 – the first year of his big contract.

After that, his numbers sank quickly, along with the team’s fortunes. He hit .168 in 2018 and went through an 0-for-54 streak in 2019. Davis hit just .115 over 55 at-bats last year, twice ending up on the injured list because of knee problems.

CUBS: Jake Arrieta, who won a Cy Young Award and helped the Cubs capture a drought-busting World Series championship in his first stint with the club, was released after struggling in his second go-round.

Arrieta was informed Wednesday after getting tagged for eight runs in a 10-0 loss to Milwaukee that he was being let go, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said. The 35-year-old right-hander was 5-11 with a 6.88 ERA in 20 starts.

The Cubs also placed catcher Willson Contreras on the 10-day injured list because of a sprained right knee.

TIGERS: Miguel Cabrera was held out of the starting lineup for Detroit’s game at Baltimore on Thursday, setting up the possibility that he’ll hit his 500th home run at home.

The 38-year-old slugger hit No. 499 on Wednesday night. Detroit begins a three-game series against Cleveland on Friday night, then hosts the Angels for three games next week.

INDIANS: Ace pitcher Shane Bieber is scheduled to throw off a mound for the first time since straining his right shoulder on June 13.

President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said the right-hander is expected to have a bullpen session Friday or Saturday when the Indians are in Detroit.

Bieber, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, said last week he still believes he’ll pitch again this season even though his rehabilitation has taken longer than expected. Bieber is 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA in 14 starts.

The Indians have said Bieber has a strain in his rotator cuff. His velocity had noticeably dropped over his last few starts before the team decided to give him a rest. Bieber was 8-1 in the shortened 2020 season and led the majors in wins, ERA (1.63) and strikeouts (122).

BREWERS: Milwaukee reinstated All-Star closer Josh Hader from the COVID-19 reserve list.

Hader joined several Brewers on the COVID-19 list on Aug. 2 after he tested positive. He has 22 saves in 23 chances.

The Brewers also optioned left-hander Hoby Milner to Triple-A Nashville and transferred righty John Axford, out for the remainder of the season because of an elbow injury, to the 60-day injured list.

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