During Terry Collins’ press conference on Friday, he spoke glowingly of Ike Davis who is already in camp. “I’ve been very impressed by Ike Davis,” Collins said. “His bat is coming through the zone better. He really looks better.”
Davis understands what’s at stake and realizes that he is “fighting for his life,” according to Collins.
“If Lucas Duda and Ike hit the way we know they can, we’ll figure out a way to get their bats in the lineup,” Collins added.
The Mets manager again told reporters that Duda will play in the outfield.
Duda spent roughly eight weeks attending a fitness camp this offseason and lost close to 10 pounds, bringing him down to 255.
“I feel faster. I feel better. I just feel more coordinated .I feel looser in my hips. I can rotate them a little bit better,” Duda said on Thursday.
On the off chance Duda wins the starting job, Davis will either be demoted or traded according to reports.
It’s going to be a blast watching all the Mets Spring Training battles the next seven weeks.
“The articles would say I wasn’t going to be here, so a little bit of shock I didn’t get traded,” Davis said. “But I’m happy I didn’t. …Obviously they had to make the right deal for them, and no one offered them what they thought enough, so I’m back.”
“You know, it’s all hearsay until something happens anyway….It’s not a big deal. I wanted to be back. I’m back. So I’m happy about it.”
Davis also said he found a previously undetected glitch in his swing and believes his offseason work will help him become more advanced as a hitter. He’ll get 90 to 100 at-bats this Spring to test his theory as Terry Collins has hypothesized that being Davis is a notorious slow starter, he plans to have him get all his bad at-bats out of the way before Opening Day. Yes. Terry Collins said that.
Davis and Lucas Duda, the not-so-dynamic-duo, will battle it out for who becomes the everyday first baseman for the Mets, with a good chance that the loser heads to the minor leagues as both have remaining options. With the right-handed hitting Josh Satin a lock for the bench, the Mets won’t keep two lefthanded hitting first baggers.
“It’s always a competition,” Davis said. “It’s been a competition since we were drafted. It’s been a competition every single time you step on the field. It’s not like we can control anything. You’ve just got to go play and see what happens. I love Duda. He likes me. It’s just whatever, you know? You’ve just got to go play.”
However, Davis is not completely safe. There is still a good chance the Mets could move him during Spring Training as injuries could cause other teams to take a second look at him. The Mets could also just choose to cut him and just pay him his $600K rather than his entire salary, although that option may be unlikely.
Davis got off to a horrible start and was hitting .161 in June when he was demoted to the minors. He batted .267/.429/.443 the rest of the way, until a strained oblique finished his season at the end of August.
This is a make or break season for the former first rounder.