The decision was made after a long discussion that included Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins, and the rest of the coaching staff. They have decided that even though Ike Davis has continued his season-long slump, he will not be sent down to the minor leagues in the immediate future. Knowing where he’ll be for the next couple of weeks comforts Ike, knowing that he has the confidence of the coaching staff to work out of this slump at the Major League level, and he can be sure that he won’t get sent down to the minors the next day if he goes 0-for-4 the night before. However, I really don’t see how this is a confidence boost for Ike.
He did drive in two runs last night with a single after he came in for defense late in the game, but Davis has a long way to go before he’s back to the 2010 form that the Mets would like him to be at. Terry Collins simply stated that New York is a better team with him on the field. That may be the case when you talk about Davis’ defense, but he’s making the lineup suffer with his lack of offensive production.
In addition to that, just because he’s not being sent down doesn’t mean he’s going to be playing every day. Whenever Collins feels as if Davis doesn’t match up well with that night’s starting pitcher, he will insert a right-handed hitter into the lineup.
Collins made it clear to the media that this is not a straight platoon situation, but they want to put Ike in a position to succeed as much as possible to help him jump start his season and get him going in the right direction. When being interviewed by Gary Cohen and Ron Darling in the booth during the 68-minute rain delay in last night’s series opener against the Padres, Mets GM Sandy Alderson said that the bold move was not to send Davis to Triple-A, but to keep him on the Big League roster and let him figure it out in the Majors. I don’t necessarily agree with this decision, but I applaud Mets management for not taking what they felt was the “easy” way out. However, I disagree with how they’re helping put Ike in positions to succeed.
Collins has said that he will sit Davis in favor of a right-handed hitter whenever he feels that the current match-up doesn’t favor Ike. This makes complete sense… when you’re talking about a platoon player. Davis is supposed to be our starting first baseman. Every night when Collins writes his lineup card, he should be putting Davis’ name in the lineup. If he wants him to truly gain confidence and climb out of this slump, he’s going to have to play every night, which is why I feel Triple-A is the best option for him. It’s hard for an every day player to play three or four times a week and get into a good rhythm at the plate. Then, when he’s finally out of his slump, he will then have to deal with southpaw starters, something that will once again, be unfamiliar to him.
If I were Davis and I wanted to get a confidence boost from my manager, I would want to play every night. I want him to show me that whether there is a righty or lefty on the mound that night, he believes that I can come out of my slump. If I get a seat on the bench 75% of the time a lefty is on the mound, that doesn’t help my confidence, it hurts it because that’s proof that my manager doesn’t think I can bust out of my slump that night.
Hopefully, all Ike needed to start to build confidence was for the rumors of him being sent down to stop; he might be on his way to busting out with his hit last night, but we’ve said that almost every time he’s had a good at-bat this year. He’s struggled throughout Spring Training and the entire regular season, so this has to be extremely frustrating, and knowing that he’s not going to have to pack his bags must make him feel a little better. Let’s see where he is in a couple weeks when Ruben Tejada, Jason Bay, and Josh Thole are all back with the team and some roster decisions need to be made.