Healthy Davis still believes Tigers are contenders
DETROIT — Rajai Davis did not have the first playoff experience he hoped for, personally or team-wise.
Davis, 34, suffered a grade 1 pubic symphasis strain at the end of the regular season that severely limited him in the ALDS against the Baltimore Orioles.
Although he batted .333 in the three games, Davis was not his usual speedy self.
But that’s all behind him now, Davis said at Comerica Park as the Tigers started their annual Winter Caravan.
"Everything feels a lot better," Davis said. "I’m running. The pain has subsided. So I feel really good."
Not only was the injury painful, it lingered for Davis.
"It took pretty much the entire offseason, just working on it pretty much every day, five-six days every week," Davis said. "Fortunately my trainer knows a lot about how to get me healthy. We did a lot of stretching, a lot of strengthening that area."
Although Davis said it surprised him how long it took to heal, he feels he’ll be ready for spring training.
"I’m just thankful that we’re at this place now where I’m able to run with little to no trace of it," Davis said. "So that’s the good sign. The key is just being healthy, completely healthy, for the season."
The team that Davis left in October has changed.
Gone are Torii Hunter, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Joba Chamberlain and Phil Coke.
New arrivals include Yoenis Cespedes, Alfredo Simon, Shane Greene, Tom Gorzelanny and Anthony Gose.
Davis knows Gose from their days in Toronto.
"It’s a really nice addition, adding a guy with his abilities to our team," Davis said. "He can track them down in the outfield with the best of them. He’s very smooth, he’s got a great arm. There’s a lot of potential with him. He can be really great."
Now the question is, can the Tigers be great?
Davis believes they can.
"We have the capability of doing extremely well," Davis said. "We still have great pitching and I believe we have better defense than we had last year at this point. I think with these additions, it’s only helped us. So I think that’s going to help all around because that’s going to take away hits, take away extra-base hits.
"Of course we’re going to have to play it out. The Central, a couple teams — Chicago and Kansas City, they made some moves. They made some good moves as well. That’s why we play. You don’t play on paper. You play on the field."
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