If you’re a diehard Ike Davis fan then you may be able to look past his struggles to start the 2012 season and proclaim that the New York Mets should stick with him at first base till he figures it out. The reality is, that’s probably not what’s best for the Mets or Ike, who has just one hit in his last 17 at-bats and is sporting a .160 average on the season.
A trip to Triple-A is not the end of the world, just a bump in the road for the talented 25-year-old. It by no means signifies that the club is trying to move on, just that they’re doing whatever it takes to get their player going. To date, Terry Collins has hoped that would happen while Ike was with the big league club, but according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, other options can’t be ruled out. After all, a demotion to the minors for a big name first basemen is not all that far fetched these days.
A day after the Miami Marlins sent 2011 All-Star first baseman Gaby Sanchez to Triple-A, and only days after the Blue Jays demoted their first baseman, Adam Lind, Collins acknowledged Davis needs to pick up his performance during this road trip or that fate could befall him too.
The Mets are going to need to clear roster spots for the returns of Ruben Tejada (quadriceps) and Jason Bay (rib), both of which may be a week to 10 days away. Lucas Duda did extensive early work back at first base during the last homestand.
“There is nothing etched in stone,” Collins said with respect to minors consideration for Davis. “We will never, never say something is not going to happen. What we’re trying to do is make sure is we wring the rag dry. And that’s why, coming into this road trip, we said, ‘Look, here’s some pretty good opportunities.’ This is a pretty good hitting park. Pittsburgh is a pretty good hitting park. We’ve got right-handers, right-handers, right-handers coming up. Let’s just see if we can get him going.”
It’s strange, on Facebook and Twitter there seems to be an overriding amount of loyalty to Ike. If this same sentiment approach were being taken with Jason Bay I seriously doubt one person would oppose a demotion, but with Ike, there seems to be some resistance. Maybe it’s because he’s homegrown or maybe it’s just a matter of wanting to lose hope. In any case, it’s kind of nice to see, but even Davis knows he’s gotta perform if he’s to avoid a trip to Buffalo.
Yeah, if you don’t play well, unless you have like a huge deal, you’re not going to be up here. Until it happens, I can’t really say anything. I’ve played one game since we’ve been here, and I lined out. And then I faced a pretty good guy last night. We’ll see what happens. I honestly don’t know what to tell you. I can’t just make up stuff.”
If Ike goes down I think both Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy would see time at first base. This would allow Collins to get Jason Bay back in the line-up when healthy and he can also get Justin Turner some starts at second. Most hitters will tell you what a big part confidence plays in performance. I can’t imagine Ike has much confidence going right now and beating up on some pitchers in the minors may be just the mental fix he needs. If he can do the same thing on this coming road trip to Pittsburgh, like Collins pointed out, even better, but the clock seems to be ticking.
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