Why Ike Davis Is the Mets' Biggest Disappointment so Far This Spring

Jason Lempert@MetsPride84Correspondent IMarch 13, 2014

New York Mets' Ike Davis bats during the first inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Jupiter, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Spring training is by no means a way to assess a team's performance or its outlook on the season. It's a chance for players to get themselves back into playing shape and condition, while allowing organizations the opportunity to shake up their rosters and put forth the best 25 guys on Opening Day. 

However, it is appropriate to gauge an individual's performance in spring training, especially when that player is expected to be a key component of his club's season.

For the New York Mets, their biggest disappointment in spring training could be a toss-up between a couple of players. But I think, based on the expectations set before him, Ike Davis has been the most disappointing in Port St. Lucie, Fla. 

Davis is coming off of his worst season as a big-leaguer, and yet, he has only appeared in two spring training games thus far.

Davis is nursing bruised calves and has been sporting a walking boot on his right foot for the better part of March. There is currently no timetable for him to return to game action, and depending on how long he is out for, he could be questionable to start the season on the disabled list.

Davis, who will turn 27 in a little over a week, burst onto the major league scene with 19 home runs in 2010, his rookie season. Since then, injuries and ineffectiveness have plagued the Mets' 2008 first-round draft pick.

To say Davis has had an inconsistent career so far would be a huge understatement.

In 2011, Davis appeared in just 36 games after suffering a severe ankle injury early in May. He came back in 2012 and blasted a career-high 32 home runs, but Davis struggled to a .227 batting average and a .308 on-base percentage. 

Last season, Davis had fewer than 400 at-bats and hit just nine home runs to go along with a paltry .205/.326/.334 slash line. 

Davis entered this spring, amidst swirling trade rumors, battling Lucas Duda for the starting first baseman gig.

Right now, both men are on the shelf, with Duda suffering from a hamstring injury. It may end up being a case of whoever heals up first gets the job, but Davis was supposed to have the higher upside to his career.

So far, Mets fans have been left with a teased feeling, waiting for the real Ike Davis to show up.

At 27 years old, Davis still has some time left to turn his career around and become the slugger he was expected to be as a first-round pick. But that window is closing fast and Mets fans are growing impatient (as evidenced by the vocal "boo-birds" heard at Citi Field last season).

If he can recover nicely from this latest physical ailment, perhaps he can earn that starting first base job on Opening Day. But he's got some work to do to regain that trust from the Mets faithful.