One of the more intriguing storylines for the Mets’ last year was the up and down season Ike Davis had to endure.
It was a tale of two halves for Davis, for Davis was the Mets’ version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Davis, while overcoming an ankle injury he sustained in 2011 and then battling a bout of valley fever just prior to the start of the 2012 season, got off to a miserable start. And miserable is putting it nicely.
On June 8, Davis had an awful .158/.234/.273 slash line and an atrocious .507 OPS, which is a mark more reserved for backup middle infielders. On that date, Davis also had just five home runs and 21 RBI’s. Everyone felt Davis had lost his confidence and with his ongoing bout with valley fever, the sure answer to eventually get him going again was to demote him to Buffalo. But for whatever reason, Mets’ management took a hard stance and let Davis fix out his problems up in the big leagues.
Ultimately, Davis would snap out of his funk and end his season on a high note while collectively calming down both management and fans alike.
In his last 75 games of the year, Davis would slug 20 home runs while posting a respectable .542 slugging percentage. Davis would end up posting a .227/.308./.462 slash line at the end of the 2012 season while also bashing 32 home runs and driving in 90 runs. From where he was in mid-June, those are some pretty impressive numbers to end up with.
With all that said, the start of Davis’ 2013 season is of paramount importance to the Mets. The difference between having the “good” Ike Davis and the “bad” Ike Davis, will likely make all the difference in the world and whether or not the Mets could conceivably contend in 2013. The Mets simply can’t sustain a stretch like that from Davis in 2013.
With the Mets trading away R.A. Dickey this winter, the Mets will have to put forth a better effort in putting more runs on the boards this year, as offense will come at more of a premium now that the Mets’ best pitcher is out of town. Davis, of course, will be one of the many players counted on to make a difference in that department. Along with David Wright, Davis has to have a consistent season for the Mets to have any shot at success in 2013.
It’s not just Davis’ bat that has to stay consistent this year; Davis also regressed defensively in 2012 and his fielding has to be top-notch once again. Davis has to take this off-season very seriously, as his production both offensively and defensively simply have to be at a higher level this year.
Considering that the Mets never really made any headway in shopping Davis this winter, he figures to be a centerpiece of the offense once again this year. Naturally, the market for guys like Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy (who both could reasonably man first base if Davis was ever to be traded) was so bearish, that trading away Davis made little sense.
Not helping matters for Davis this past season was the fact that some in the media portrayed him as some party-going playboy who stayed out all night and one who lacked good work ethic. Davis vehemently denied any such accusations and said it was complete rubbish.
Hopefully, Davis is over his bout with valley fever and has wrinkled out any other perceived problems he had with management, and he could go about just concentrating on being a better ball player.
So, what it all boils down to is: if he is healthy, motivated and locked in, Davis could have the year we’ve all been waiting for.
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