Ike Davis’ nightmare 2013 season continues to spiral out of control with each at-bat, and he could be demoted to the minors in the near future, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.
During Monday’s 2-1 win over the Yankees, Davis struck out in each of his three at-bats with boos from the Citi Field faithful growing louder each time he skulked away from the batter’s box.
Davis’ latest rough outing came after he provided a brief respite from his season-long slump just the night before. In the eighth inning, he lined a two-run single to lift the Mets to a 4-2 win over the Braves and snap a five-game losing streak. It marked Davis’ first two-RBI effort in 26 games since April 19.
Following the game, Davis told reporters that he’d made an adjustment to his swing after watching tape of his at-bats, according to the New York Post. But Davis’ apparent breakthrough was short-lived as he returned to his whiffing ways against the Yanks.
Mets fans are growing weary of Davis’ presence on the ball club, which has come to epitomize this underwhelming bunch.
Through May 27, Davis has struck out 57 times in 155 at-bats or nearly one-third of his plate appearances. He’s hitting .155/.241/.245 with just four home runs and 11 RBI. At this pace, he’d be lucky to sniff the Mendoza Line by the All-Star break.
That’s not exactly what you expect from a franchise first baseman. Heck, the Mets expect more out of light-hitting shortstop Ruben Tejada.
But wait, there's more.
Davis’ -0.9 offensive WAR is tied for last with Adam Dunn among 32 qualified first basemen, according to Fangraphs.
To make matters worse, Davis has carried his offensive struggles onto the field. His recent gaffes, like failing to field a ball against the Reds because he felt it was going foul, have cost the Mets games.
Clearly, Mets GM Sandy Alderson is clinging to a belief that Davis can turn it around in the second half of the season like he did in 2012 when he slugged 20 home runs and drove in 41 runs after a slow start.
But, it’s about time for the Mets to send Davis to Class AAA Las Vegas to get his swing back in order. Las Vegas is known for its hitter-friendly ballpark—prospect Zack Wheeler can’t wait to escape the comfy confines—which could provide Davis the confidence he needs to return to his old form.
In fact, much of Davis’ issues stem from a lack of confidence, according to Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog. If that’s the case, New York is an unforgiving place to try to figure it out. Allowing Davis to escape the harsh lens of the New York media could prove positive for the 26-year-old.
The money-conscious Mets aren't planning to give up on him just yet. Davis and the Mets avoided arbitration this past offseason by agreeing to a one-year, $3.125 million deal. That’s certainly a reasonable number to pay for a first baseman capable of slugging 32 home runs.
The concern over who would replace Ike at first is misguided, however, as the need to repair Davis should be the highest priority. Unfortunately for Ike, that likely means becoming the first player to hit 30 home runs and be demoted to the minors.
Sandy Alderson said it best after Friday night’s game, according to the NY Daily News: “The goal here is to get Ike back to the player we know he can be.”