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Khris Davis is slugging again in Triple-A

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Any chance he can return to the majors in 2021?

Wild Card Round - Chicago White Sox v Oakland Athletics - Game Two Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

The Oakland A’s lineup is in a slump. They’ve scored just 27 runs in their last 10 games combined, and it’s no surprise they lost eight of those contests. This is happening despite great production from all three of the new hitters they acquired at the trade deadline.

There’s still a month to go in the season, so there’s time for the offense to heat back up. But there’s also a particularly interesting name lighting up Triple-A Las Vegas right now.

At the beginning of August, the A’s brought back Khris Davis on a minor league contract, just six months after trading him away to the Texas Rangers. In 10 games for Las Vegas, he’s already blasted six homers.

  • Davis, AAA: 15-for-42, 6 HR, 2 triples, 2 doubles, 1 BB, 7 Ks

That’s a .357/.386/.929 line, and an impressively low 15.9% strikeout rate. He has more extra-base hits than strikeouts.

Of course, there’s a pile of context to go with those dingers. One reason everybody was excited to see Davis in Vegas is that it’s a ludicrous hitter’s park that boosts power, and also most of the damage came against an Albuquerque pitching staff that his the highest ERA in the Triple-A West League. In the majors this year for the Rangers he batted .157 with two homers in 22 games, and his last good MLB season was 2018.

But despite all that, it’s tough not to dream about the idea of a former star returning out of nowhere to help the A’s. We don’t even need to use our imaginations, as they currently have Jed Lowrie batting cleanup and playing a lot of second base. Lowrie pretty much hadn’t played at all since 2018, but Oakland got a full productive season out of him in 2021.

“I got my swing back,” Davis said, per The Rickey Henderson Of Blogs, who reports how Matt Chapman played a role in bringing Davis back.

Rosters expand to 28 in September, which means the A’s can add two more players. Is there any chance we could see Davis get a spot? Manager Bob Melvin said the following Tuesday, via Martin Gallegos:

“He knew when he came here, it was a longshot. I wish we could expand more than two players in September. But he’s doing what he’s set his mind to do and showing everybody that he still has a lot of baseball left.”

The key term there is probably “longshot,” so let’s not get our hopes too high. But situations evolve and you can never be certain what things will look like a week in the future, and it wouldn’t be out of character for the A’s to gamble on a hot bounce-back candidate — last September it was a jackpot in Jake Lamb. Fitting a new right-handed DH into this year’s roster and lineup might take some gymnastics but it could be done if desired.

Oakland is in a tight postseason race, and right now they’re slipping at a particularly worrisome time. If the lineup stays cold much longer then they’re going to need to try something, and if Davis stays hot in the minors then he’d be quite an interesting something. We’re a long way from seeing him back alongside Lowrie wearing green-and-gold during a 2021 playoff push, but it’s fun to think about and it seems surprisingly unimpossible.