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Will Ike return to Mets with new approach?

6/11/2013

NEW YORK -- Will Ike Davis make fundamental changes to his swing while working at Triple-A Las Vegas, where he reported for work this afternoon? Or will he merely go down to Triple-A, rediscover his confidence by having success against inferior pitching in hitter-friendly ballparks and return with the same fundamental flaws?

"There's going to be a hitting coach someplace who'd say, 'Well, I'd take all the hand movement away from him,'" Terry Collins said. "You know what? When you do that, it's going to be a long process. That's a huge adjustment. There's going to be somebody who'd say, 'Well, I'd spread him out,' or 'I'd shorten him up.' Mechanically, there's going to be lots of different things. It's all up to Ike. He came into this season with the same stance as he had last year when he hit 30 homers. It wasn't working. So now he's had to make some adjustments. The adjustments haven't worked. So do I think there's going to be some tweaking that's going to happen? Yeah. What it is, I haven't the faintest idea.

"But I know one thing: The hitters, you've got to see the baseball. And he's not seeing it. And that's what's got to get changed. He's got to keep his head back. I don't care what anybody says mechanically. I don't care what anybody talks about where his hands need to be. He needs to keep his head behind the baseball. And when he does that he's dangerous. So that's where it starts with me."

Asked specially about Davis' pronounced hitch, Collins acknowledged it has been a discussion in the past with Davis.

"Well, sure it has," Collins said.

Still, the manager added: "These guys got here doing something. Now, is it going to keep him here? Don't know. They've got to make adjustments. When you suggest adjustments -- and we've talked about it -- and they try, they aren't comfortable, they don't feel good, they aren't going to go with it. That is the most human nature thing. You've all been taught something. You didn't like something, you didn't do it. If you find that it's not successful, you don't do it. ...

"Make a couple of tweaks and he's going to be fine, I think. But, you know, there's been a lot of great hitters in this game that some people said, 'I don't know how he does it. But he just does it.' So there's no one way to hit for me.

"If that's the only tweak he makes -- if he gets his hand in a still position -- it might work for somebody. It may not work for Ike. We for two years have talked to a couple of guys on the team about quieting their hands down. It's tough to do. Boy, they get in that box and they don't feel like they can get started. And if they don't feel like they can get started, they're not going to catch up to a fastball."