Ike Davis came into tonight’s game with a .169 batting average. Including tonight’s game he has struck out in all but three games in May. It has gotten to the point where I am happy to see him make contact, even if it is a soft groundout to the second baseman, as it often is. Davis went through a similar slump to start last season and worked out of it in the Major Leagues. This year the Mets cannot wait for that to happen.
One of the first things people brought up about the Mets AAA affiliation change to the Las Vegas ’51s was how much of a bandbox they would be playing in. Most of the talk was concerning pitchers and their development. However, the hitter-friendly environment does not have to be all bad. It could turn into the perfect place for Ike Davis to find his swing and build up his confidence before coming back to the Mets.
No player is going to admit that he feels more pressure to work out of a slump because he is batting cleanup or playing in New York. At least, he won’t admit that while he is still slumping. But Terry Collins insisting on batting Davis fourth is not helping Ike or the team. It’s silly to use a season and a half of production to justify keeping a .160 hitter in the heart of the lineup. Davis is going to keep pressing and struggling and the Mets will be living with an automatic out in the middle of the lineup.
In Las Vegas, Ike would be able to focus on correcting his swing (or whatever ails him) without worrying about runners left on base or team losses. It will be a less competitive environment in not only a hitter-friendly home park, but a hitter-friendly league. Even if he hits .250 it could be good for him to see ground balls find holes and a few home runs leave the park. Small sample sizes don’t generally mean anything but a good week or two in AAA could help Ike come back and remember that he does, in fact, know how to mash baseballs. Juan Lagares and Andrew Brown have both managed to have an OPS over .900 for the ’51s so really the sky should be the limit for Ike.
As Davis flies out in the eighth inning he is now hitless in his last 17 at-bats. If the Mets aren’t actively working with him on some plan that can’t be implemented by the Las Vegas coaching staff (for whatever convoluted reason) they have no reason to continue to watch him struggle. This season is now worse than last season and a stint in AAA could jump start a possible second half resurgence.
What was Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
You be the judge of if that applies.