With Ike Davis tearing it up in Las Vegas, his return to the majors will happen at any moment now. As it is, the Mets will be facing a slew of lefties in the next 6-8 games and the Mets seem hellbent on recalling Davis when the time is right—i.e. when they are set to face a stream of righties.
Obviously, Davis needed to be sent down in order to restore some lost confidence, as his production with the big club was inarguably pathetic. I don’t think I need to lay out the numbers for you, but, suffice to say, a .500 OPS will not cut in the major leagues.
Whether it’s the tutelage of Wally Backman or what not, Davis has taken to Vegas like a pair of dice. Davis has rediscovered his stroke and as of Tuesday, Davis was sporting a healthy .306/.460/.714 slash line. In 49 at-bats with the 51s (granted, the stadium and level of competition play a huge factor), Davis has more than doubled the OPS he had with the Mets, as he is carrying a hearty 1.175 OPS in Vegas.
Good for Davis.
Davis bid his time in Vegas, restored his lost confidence and took all instructions in stride. All that’s left now is when he gets the call back up.
So, when Davis comes back in the next week or so, what is next for a player with so many questions surrounding his future?
I’m of the opinion that if you bring up Davis, you got to take off the kid gloves and get him in there every day. After all, it seems readily apparent that the front office thinks (barring a trade) Davis is still their first baseman of the future. Then again, I do see the benefits of sitting Davis against lefties in order to slowly build his confidence back up.
For the better part of three months, Davis was a lost soul at the plate and one in search of answers. It could prove to be counterproductive for him to come back and then struggle against lefties and undo some of the good things he learned in Vegas.
Also throwing a wrench into the plans is the latest injury to Lucas Duda.
In a roundabout way, I asked a couple of weeks ago, who should the Mets commit to long term: Davis or Duda? With the two players almost identical in build, game and approach, the Mets can’t go into the 2014 season with both of these players on the squad. They have to commit to one and trade the other.
Well, with Duda now on the shelf, Davis will have a good chance to reclaim his job for good. When Davis comes back and if he does well, it could spell the end for Duda in a Mets’ uniform.
These next couple of weeks leading up to the trade deadline could get real interesting. If Davis is flourishing and is part of the team past the trade deadline, then there is a strong chance the Mets will commit to Davis for the future.
In any event, when Davis returns to the Mets, he has to capitalize on this new-found opportunity. He can’t afford to go into another extended slump-although we should all preach patience. Davis has to treat his recall as a fresh new start and build on the momentum he gained in Vegas.
Safe to say, the next chapter in Davis’ Mets’ career is about to be written in the coming weeks.