Ike Davis slowly, but surely, awakening from his slumber

Ike Davis 5While the New York Mets’ 5-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night was all about the glorious performance of Matt Harvey and the contributions from Wilmer Flores (in his second game of action); underneath it all was another solid outing from the very embattled Ike Davis.

Say what you will about Davis’ colossal slump to open the season—which stretched more than three months and ended up with a demotion to Las Vegas—Davis has looked a lot better at the plate in the last few weeks, with “better” being the operative word.

Ever since he has come back, Davis is seeing the ball really well and is not looking like a lost cause at the plate like he previously was.  He is recognizing pitches really well and is not swinging much out if his comfort zone. Prior to Wednesday night’s game, Davis  was sporting  a .282/.446/.422 slash line in his 26 games back from the minors. Davis once again had a solid outing on Wednesday night in in which he went 1-3 with another double (he has six in his last nine games), two runs scored and a walk. Not to mention he made a nice leaning catch to end the game.

Not bad for a guy who, according to most of the fanbase wants out of town on the next flight out of Flushing, eh?

Certainly, no will argue with you that Davis was abysmal for the first three months of the season and  absolutely deserved to be demoted. Heck, even with this latest surge, Davis’ overall numbers still look awful (.196/.307/.308 slash line).

However, sometimes when you get knocked down, it’s not about getting knocked down, but how you get back up. And ever since his demotion, Davis has been a new man.

Sure, the measly one home run he has hit in his comeback will not cut it in the middle of the order—especially for someone who the franchise fancies a power hitter (hey, he did hit 32 home runs in 2012). But, this is all about baby steps right now. Let’s crawl before we can walk. The home runs will eventually come. How Davis finishes the 2013 season will tell us a lot about the mental makeup of Davis.

You could argue that we have been down this road before (see his splits from the 2012 season). Is banking on Davis and having faith in him foolish? If Davis is to stick around and be a part of the 2014 squad and if he goes ice cold once again, many fans will understandably be upset. Why commit to a player who seemingly is only useful for one half of the season?

Then again, we can’t dismiss what his bout with valley fever did or does to his body. Maybe it will go away for good, or maybe it won’t.

However, giving up on a guy who has showed so much promise and has only played in just 421 games with the Mets, seems way too early.

Want a case study?

Name that player:

In 266 games with his first franchise, this player showed some major power (hitting 42 home runs in 882 at bats) but was awful at getting on base and piled up the strikeouts by the truckloads (302) while posting a meager .755 OPS with said franchise.

Yes, that player happens to be Chris Davis, one of the biggest and best sluggers currently in the league and worthy AL-MVP candidate. Yeah, the same Chris Davis that sports a whopping 1.052 OPS with the Baltimore Orioles and who the Texas Rangers deemed was a lost cause.

Ok, so obviously thinking that Ike Davis will be the second coming of Chris Davis is a little bit of wishful thinking. But, hey, for one of the game’s preeminent sluggers to struggle early much the same way Ike Davis has is a bit comforting.

So, while it may take a little while longer for Davis to become what we all want him to become, when we bear the fruits of that labor, it could be all too sweet.

14 comments for “Ike Davis slowly, but surely, awakening from his slumber

  1. Chris F
    August 8, 2013 at 8:44 am

    I’ll even contribute to the kitty to purchase the ticket to get him out of town. Davis had 1 good year, and has been on a slide since. Lets say he magically hits .220 and comes up with 12 HR, which does not seem likely, but for the sake of argument. Who would want this kind of production at 1B ? Next year is his age 27 season and we still don’t know who Ike Davis is. Indeed he did make a nice grab to end the game, yet in a recent game before he made a critical throwing error on a botched 3-6-3 DP that costed us a run. His defense is clearly in retreat. Will the Mets pay 6M$ a year in arb for this kind of production? I hope not. My worst Ike fear seems to becoming reality: he’s doing a little better than before being sent down, and maybe just enough to keep hoping Ike turns into something we are dreaming about rather than accepting who he is. There is no “second half” this year, with a smidge over 50 games left. As for last year, once the Mets fell off the rails in July, why worry about what you pitch to him? Clearly the Mets line up was not enough of a threat to pitch around Davis.

    I hope he does enough to have some trade value so we don’t need to just DFA him. He may be a change of scenery type guy to reach more potential if he has it in him.

    Sorry, I’m not buying on Ike.

  2. TexasGusCC
    August 8, 2013 at 8:46 am

    What seemed to be the most frustrating thing about Ike Davis was that he refused to make any adjustments, as just flailing at the ball was acceptable. Furthermore, he took his offense to the field and made numerous errors in judgment because his head wasn’t in the game.

    His attitude was one of “it will come”, but when your stupid manager keeps putting you fourth and fifth in the lineup and you’re an automatic out on any curveball outside the zone, “it will come” is not good enough.

  3. August 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I like this version of Ike who does not swing at every pitch once he gets to two strikes.

    But, much like with Lagares, we have to recognize that what’s going on here is a hot streak, not a sustainable level of play. Since his recall from the minors, Ike has a .370 BABIP.

    In 1,637 PA in the majors, Ike has a .287 BABIP.

    I’ll give Ike his K rate since his recall and I’ll give Ike his BB rate since his recall. But I will not give him 83 points of BABIP. What happens if/when the hits stop falling in?

  4. blastingzone
    August 8, 2013 at 9:16 am

    The thought of Ike hitting 32 hr’s in the 2nd half last year has brain washed Terry and Sandy!
    They keep waiting for him to do it again but its to late this year and It would be foolish to depend on him for next year and stand pat at first base! Flores needs a position and 3rd is not it so it comes down to 2nd or first and Terry loves Murphy who has become a good 2nd baseman and has turned into a very good hitter so first base looks like it? Flores has played some first but needs to go to the instructional league and play first in winter ball and be ready next season to compete with Ike and Duda but if Flores keeps hitting like we all know he will he will be our first baseman for many, many, years to come unless they trade Murphy!!

  5. steevy
    August 8, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Agree with you guys ,basically I want Ike to produce enough so they can move him for something.I don’t want to suffer through this every season.Fire Terry Collins!

  6. Joe Gomes
    August 8, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Too little too late and lets not forget that he is NOT hitting for power which is what the Mets desperately need. His so called gold glove caliber defense is also gone.

    If the Mets are smart which is a question in itself, they would non-tender Ike and sign him to a lesser contract thereby protecting themselves. If he comes on strong in 2014, then you have a 1B. If not, he is insurance / trade bait at Vegas while Flores takes over at 1B.

    What the Mets cannot do is continue to baby this guy. He either performs or plays for Vegas or another organization.

    • Chris F
      August 8, 2013 at 11:22 am

      Well said.

  7. TexasGusCC
    August 8, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Everyone is afraid of him becoming another Chris Davis. But, Chris Davis hit .360 with 33 HRs and 162 RBIs in AAA Round Rock. When was the last time our Davis did that? I still can’t believe the Rangers traded Chris Davis with those numbers.

    • TexasGusCC
      August 8, 2013 at 5:25 pm

      Sorry, that production was in 100 games.

      • Name
        August 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        You could point to one player, Chris Davis, and say, “Ike *could* do that”

        But what about the hundreds of other players were in the same situation that didn’t do that?
        Chris Davis is the exception, not the rule. And you shouldn’t bank on exceptions.

  8. Metsense
    August 8, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    Ike Davis is inconsistent. On a sub .500 team the long slumps don’t matter because the games don’t matter. On a team that plays above .500, these slumps can cost a team a playoff spot. Since June 18th the Mets record is 25-20 and as a team they seem to be turning the corner. Next year they should be at least a .500 club. Next year they can’t risk Ike’s inconsistencies. As Chris F stated, I hope Ike finishes strong to increase his trade value.
    Brian makes a strong point about Ike’s BABIP and I also point out his recent stats are as a platoon player.
    The argument that Sandy doesn’t want to be trading the next Chris Davis is faulty because he also might be trading the next Mike Jacobs.

  9. Dan Stack
    August 9, 2013 at 4:18 am

    I like all the responses I’ve gotten here and I get the gripes with Ike, I do. However, what would Ike have to do to change your opinion of him? I mean, it seems some of you want him gone no matter what. Just curious, what does Ike have to do to change your mind?

    • NormE
      August 9, 2013 at 8:30 am

      Hit and hit for power!

    • Name
      August 9, 2013 at 9:21 am

      “what does Ike have to do to change your mind”

      Sign a contract for less than 1 million and I’d welcome him back with open arms.

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