The Mets won't be sending Ike Davis down to Triple-A Buffalo anytime soon, according to manager Terry Collins.
Collins gave the news to Davis after the team arrived home from Pittsburgh on Wednesday evening, and informed reporters before Thursday night's game against the Padres.
"This game’s all about confidence," Collins said. "It’s all about believing in yourself. When you’re going through a slump like Ike is, you lose that confidence, you lose how you feel about things. It wears on you. He’s not sleeping well. So I thought one of the things we'd try to do is make sure he understands we believe in him. We trust him. He’s an outstanding player. We told him he’s the first baseman."
A possible demotion of Davis has been a hot topic around the Mets in recent days. Through 145 at-bats so far this season, the 25-year-old is hitting just .159, with five homers and 15 RBIs. The batting average is the second-lowest in the major leagues, behind only Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks (.155).
"Obviously they have confidence in me, and they’re backing me and they know I’m gonna get through this," said Davis. "So I’m gonna be here for a while, and it’s just up to me to start playing better."
Davis admitted that being sent back to Triple-A had weighed on his mind of late. "It’s just nice to get that out of the way and know that if I go 0-for-4 tomorrow I’m not gonna get sent down."
However, the left-handed Davis is not in the lineup on Thursday night, with the Mets facing a lefty starter, Eric Stults (Vinny Rottino will play first base and bat sixth). Collins also sat Davis against two other lefty starters on the team's just-finished road trip, but said that this will not be a strict platoon situation -- Davis will be in the lineup against some lefties.
Collins also said he liked the fact that Davis has been more aggressive at the plate of late.
As for why Collins decided to take demotion off the table for now, the manager said, "It was the easy way out. And this game’s not easy. And if he’s gonna be an outstanding major league player, he’s gotta learn to fight through some tough times.
"Every time somebody goes through a slump, we’re not sending 'em out. They gotta learn how to fight through it, and grind out at-bats, and make it work, and learn how to adjust, and he’s not gonna learn how to adjust in Buffalo."
"It’s more about winning than just me," said Davis. "Whatever Terry thinks is gonna be the best way to win this game, he’s gonna have to do it, and I back him whatever decision he makes. If I face all righties, I face all righties. If I play against lefties, I play against lefties. It doesn’t really matter to me. I’m just gonna show up every day and work, and try to get better."