when taking a look at Davis' recent starts, I'm sure some will try to make the case that he's turned the corner. Last two starts, over 13 IP, no ER. He's even cut down on his walks. So many are asking the question: Is he ready for the Show?
The more important question is, are we asking for the right reasons? Are we asking because, developmentally he has nothing left to prove in AAA? Are we asking because he has refined his pitches and strike zone to the point that no more seasoning is required? Or are we asking because the Rays rotation is in shambles? Are we asking because we can't get through one turn of the rotation where all 5 starters at least last 5 IP, the minimum required to be eligible to be the winning pitcher on record? Are we asking because we never thought we'd miss Edwin Jackson so much, the same pitcher columnists would strip the "win" from his name until he actually won a few games?
When taking a look at Davis' AAA numbers, nothing sticks out. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. For a guy who just surpassed 100 IP in AAA for his career, sporting an ERA of well under 3 and has not yet reached the age of 24? There's a lot to like. There's good reason to daydream with him and Price as part of the next tier of pitchers to go alongside Shields and Garza (and since we're wishful thinking, Kazmir).
But on the other side, his strikeouts are down. He averaged slightly over 1k/inning in last year's stint in AAA. This year those strikeouts are down by nearly 50% and he's walked 2 or more batters in every start but one. Even though he hasn't dominated, no one has dominated him. He has not been shelled in any of his starts, giving up no more than 3 runs in a single outing. All of this shows that he is holding his own in AAA but not confidently or completely showing his development is ready for the next step, unless you think this is his peak (which I don't think many do at all).
overall, Davis could use a little more seasoning, but if he continues to perform the way he has in his last two starts, it is only a matter of weeks before he ends up in the Rays rotation. Hopefully it just isn't done out of necessity.