For New York Mets fans, it’s been easy to like Ike. He’s a homegrown talent with the potential to deliver monstrous home runs and a knack for web gems at first base . You’d be hard pressed to dig up an article where a beat writer or reporter has a bad word to say about the 25-year-0ld, but on the field, let’s face it, Ike’s been awful.
I’m no expert on Valley Fever so I can’t pretend to know what kind of fatigue or other effects the condition may be having on Davis but there’s no denying that he’s not right at the plate. Whether it’s a physical ailment, a technical oversight, or a mental lapse that has caused Ike’s struggles is up for debate, but his poor performance in 2012 is not.
I’ve been quick to slam Jason Bay of late, wondering how his return might push a more deserving player to the bench. One possibility I didn’t envision is that the team could actually demote Ike Davis, put Lucas Duda at first, and go with an outfield that consisted of Bay, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Andres Torres. On paper, even with Bay hitting just .240 before his rib injury, this might be the best offensive squad New York could currently put on the field. The key word there is currently, as few people expect Bay to outproduce Davis on the season, but as the first basemen’s struggles continue, that assumption may begin to change.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, sending Ike to Buffalo to work things out is not likely to happen:
Jason Bay will have a Mets roster spot when he’s ready, but at whose expense?
Though struggling first baseman Ike Davis would be a logical candidate for demotion to the minors, manager Terry Collins told The Post before last night’s 6-3 loss to the Reds it’s “doubtful” the Mets would go that route.
A team executive backed that view, calling it “not likely” Davis would be a consideration for demotion. Davis is batting .167 after going 1-for-4 with an RBI double last night.
Bay, a left fielder who is rehabbing from a rib fracture, could be ready to rejoin the Mets within the next 10 days. Ruben Tejada [quad] also is expected to return during that time. If Davis isn’t a consideration to get bumped — and there are no further injuries before Bay’s return — the team would be left to decide among Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Mike Baxter and Justin Turner for two roster spots.
All three players have been effective, and bumping Turner would leave the Mets with only one reserve infielder.”
Does Davis view himself as a candidate for demotion?
“It has crossed my mind,” Davis told The Post. “But even if they do send me down, I know I’ll be back. [But] I’m not going to think about it. If I get sent down, I get sent down. I’m starting to swing the bat a lot better and I’m still leading the team in home runs [five]. I’ve hit some balls hard lately and haven’t gotten hits and that’s all I can do.”
Davis is one of the more likeable players on the team with a chance to become a huge star in New York. I want him to turn things around and get back to the player we have seen in the past, but I’ve also said the exact same thing about Jason Bay over a hundred times. In the end, all I really want is for the Mets to win and to have their best team on the field. I don’t think any player should be opposed to a demotion if their performance warrants it and it presents them with a chance to figure things out without hurting their club. Davis and Bay both seem like ‘team first’ guys so it’s not surprising to see how they’ve handled themselves while slumping, but something has to give and someone has start to produce or all bets should be off when it comes playing time and depth charts.
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