Ike Davis Is Suffering In The Hands Of Manuel And Hojo

An article by posted on August 17, 2010

I’m not looking to throw more gasoline on the fire, but has anyone noticed the similarities between Ike Davis and Jeff Francoeur at the plate for the last two months?

We expected Ike Davis to go into a slide, just about every rookie does. But what bugs me about Ike’s slide is the lunging and the wild swings. All players have slumps, but the current version of Ike Davis looks nothing like the patient hitter with the great approach at the plate that we first saw in his first 10 weeks of play. That bothers me more than the slump does.

Can somebody please tell me what Howard Johnson’s function is on this team?

When you look at Ike’s batting average by month, it’s all over the place and indicates that more seasoning in the minors would have been helpful.

  • April - .324
  • May – .235
  • June – .264
  • July – .214
  • August – .229

In fact if you throw away the 34 April at-bats, what you’re looking at is basically a .231 season with a .299 OBP.

But then there’s those 15 home runs…

In Ike’s first 132 at-bats, he walked 22 times. In his next 239 at-bats he walked just 20 times. He was seeing about two more pitches per plate appearance in April and May, a sign that his patience has diminished greatly and a good reason why he is slumping and so inconsistent.

Jerry Manuel benched him against southpaw Wandy Rodriguez last night as he did with Cole Hamels two games before. Manuel said he wanted to help him get out of his slump by limiting his at-bats against left handed pitching. However, while looking at Ike’s splits I found that he has a .273 average against LHP and a .237 average against RHP.

Hey Jerry, are you reading this?

If the Mets want to get Ike Davis back on track, they can start by encouraging him to do the things that he did so well when he first got promoted.

Take more pitches… Take the gratuitous walks until they start throwing strikes to you again… Own the inside part and middle of the plate… Stop chasing those outside pitches, the word is out on you, and they know it’s your weakness… Make adjustments to them just as they adjusted to you…

If we had an average manager and coaching staff, these thing would have already been imparted on our young first baseman. Instead we seem to have a hitting coach who has done very little to advance or improve any of our hitters. Judging simply by the results, is there one hitter on this team who has improved from last season? The answer is no.

David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Jason Bay, and even Angel Pagan are all hitting for a lower average than last season. Except for Carlos Beltran, these are all players who are in their prime and should be getting better… not worse.

So how can we possibly expect Howard Johnson to get Ike Davis back on the straight and narrow? 

I really like this kid Ike Davis. I see the potential for stardom in his future. But he is already becoming too comfortable with too many bad habits. Habits that can ultimately derail what could have been a solid Major League career.

I’m not saying that I want Ike to focus more on walks than on hitting homeruns. What I’m saying is that he can hit more homeruns and hit for a higher average if he can simply become more selective at the plate like he was when he first came up. That was one of the things we all loved about him.

My advice to Ike is to ditch the advice he’s getting from Howard Johnson. Instead, hearken back to the advice you received from Bisons hitting coach Jack Voigt and manager Ken Oberkfell, two solid baseball minds.

As far as I’m concerned, our best Major League manager and coaches are flourishing in the minors, while we pay $40 bucks a ticket to see a bunch of hacks undermining and mismanaging our team.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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