First Base Battle Is Underway Between Duda and Davis

MLB: New York Mets-Workout

Terry Collins hasn’t stopped raving about Ike Davis ever since he the 27-year old first baseman arrived to camp last month.

The former first-rounder is locked in a battle with his best friend Lucas Duda for the Mets’ everyday first base job and after just one game, they find themselves in a dead heat. This gonna be great to watch…

Davis started at first base on Friday and went 1-for-3 with hit a two-run homer, while Duda doubled in his three at-bats and was robbed of a hit.

The plan is to each of them 80 plate appearances and then Collins will choose a winner. The loser could begin the season riding the pine, get demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas or even get traded to what ever team wants him.

You would think that Davis may have jeopardized his chances when he revealed that he battled an oblique injury for most of last season before the muscle finally snapped and he missed the rest of the season. But Collins has always been one of Davis’ biggest supporters and still is.

“He looks more like the guy I saw when I first came to this organization,” he told reporters after the Mets’ 5-4 loss to the Nationals. “A guy with the bat coming through the zone, much better swing path through the zone. He got so fly ball crazy that he created such a huge uppercut that he created holes. Those holes aren’t there right now. At least they haven’t been in batting practice, and his bat path is much improved.”

Collins isn’t leaning any particular way in terms of who he’d like to see win the first base job, at least not publicly.

“I really think they are bound and determined to make every game count,” manager Terry Collins said. “As I’ve told them both, ‘I know it’s spring training, and we’ve got a long way to go, but each time you’re out there you’ve got to get yourself ready to play,’ and that showed today.”

Still, I’m thinking he’s pulling for Ike because he wants 30 homers from the position rather than 80 walks, and because the solid defense is an added bonus.

Photo courtesy of Howard Simmons/Daily News

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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, '00 and '15, 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.