This Time – It’s About Mechanics Not Excuses With Ike

In 2012, Ike Davis had valley fever.

In 2012, Ike Davis was rusty because he had missed so much playing time in 2011.

In 2012, the hitting approach impacted Ike Davis negatively.

In 2012, Ike Davis didn’t have enough lineup protection or he was shuffled around the order too much.

In 2012, Ike Davis should have been sent to the minors but instead he was allowed to “work things out” at the big league level, and that move allowed fans and coaches to believe Davis was magically fixed.

Sure, Davis showed significant signs of improvement during the later part of 2012. Realistically though, he wasn’t fixed in 2012. He was still striking out and hitting for a low average. For some reason we decided to accept that type of performance merely because he 27 HR from June 1st on.

Regardless of the power he found, he was still a .252 hitter from June 1st on. I’m not sure when that became acceptable from a guy we all expected to be a top 3 1B in the National League – but I’m done giving Davis the benefit of the doubt.

Davis was able to use every excuse in the book to explain his embarrassing 2012 season, and he took those opportunities in February with The Star-Ledger.

“I’m definitely more ready to play this year, I’m not worried about my ankle. I didn’t miss a year. I’m definitely in a baseball flow so I’m excited.”

“Every time you come back from an injury and you don’t do very well for a long period of time, you’re like ‘Did I lose what I once had?’” Davis said. “You start second-guessing yourself. Then, obviously, I started feeling better and I said, ‘OK, I can do this again. I didn’t lose my talent or lose my skill.”

Hitting coach Dave Hudgens even joined in,

“He’s capable of doing that, he didn’t have that same rhythm and timing that he was so used to in the game because he was off so long. When you’re off that long and then you come back and try to do the same thing, sometimes it just doesn’t feel right.”

And now fast forward to 2013, according to WFAN’s Craig Carton Ike Davis who was supposed to be a cornerstone player for the franchise gets angry at the organization for not calling him up after a few good games in Las Vegas?

This organization went above and way beyond what they should have done to protect Ike Davis. He should have been sent down in May last year and in April of this year after déjà vu struck. But after 13 Triple-A games, Davis thinks he deserves to be back ahead of Zach Lutz?

Whether the story is 100% accurate or not, the truth is Ike Davis lost his opportunity to be an everyday 1B with no questions asked. He’s not the guy we all thought he’d be. Top 1B don’t need to go to AAA at age 26 to fix a swing, not an approach. It has nothing to do with the boogey man known as “the approach”.

According to Terry Collins, Davis isn’t working on philosophy – he’s working on mechanics with Las Vegas hitting coach George Greer.

“They are trying to calm the hitch down, not have it so big. They are trying to keep his upper body back, behind the baseball a little more, keep his head in a little bit better. His stride has got him to where he is kind of lunging, so they’ve got him on the plate a little bit better. Keeping his front hip in, instead of having it fly, which sometimes can cause his shoulders to come off the ball. The grip of the bat has helped him free up his hands a little bit.”

I am tired of all of the excuses, and anybody who thinks Davis deserves any more than what he’s been given. He has proven to me that he is not the player we thought he was. He’s shown me that he’s just another Gaby Sanchez. A player who did just enough to make us think he’d be around for years to come.

The Mets and all of us thought we had a 1B for the next several years to build around, and until I see Davis put together a 162 game season worth talking about and not yelling about, that 1B’s name is either Wilmer Flores or Lucas Duda.

About Michael Branda 267 Articles
Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.