<
>

Davis in Las Vegas, working on swing

LAS VEGAS -- "Shalom. Welcome to Vegas."

That’s how New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis greeted a group of New York reporters outside Las Vegas’ clubhouse Tuesday afternoon before his first Triple-A start for the 51s at Cashman Field.

Davis was in good spirits two days after the Mets demoted him, but he certainly would prefer to use the Hebrew expression for "hello" and "goodbye" to bid adieu to the minors as soon as possible.

“You don’t ever want to come back to the minor leagues after playing in the big leagues for three straight years,” Davis, 26, said. “But sometimes, there are blips in the road, and you’ve just got to go through it and come out stronger and be a better baseball player.”

Davis, who is batting .161 (30-for-186) with five homers, 16 RBIs and 66 strikeouts in 55 games for the Mets this season, said he was in low spirits when he learned of his demotion following Sunday’s loss to the Miami Marlins.

“It’s not a good feeling. I was a little down, for sure,” he said. “You’re getting fired or demoted. In a normal job, that’s what happens, but you’ve got to brush yourself off and go back to where you should be.

“Hopefully, I can get my rhythm back and start driving the ball, and then we won’t have to talk like this anymore.”

While Davis would’ve preferred to resolve his problems at the plate in the big leagues, he conceded it will be easier to tinker with his batting stance and swing in the minors. The Las Vegas staff will work with Davis to reduce his pronounced hitch, they told reporters.

“If I try a new stance [in Las Vegas] and go 0-for-4 with three popups to the infield, it’s not like all of New York’s going to kill you,” he said. “It’s definitely easier to try to work on stuff here versus in the big leagues. Working on stuff in the big leagues is tough.”

Davis also got off to a slow start last season before excelling down the stretch, belting 20 of his career-high 32 home runs after the All-Star break.

“I’ve proven I can get hot in a couple of months and totally turn things around,” Davis said. “That’s hopefully what I do here.”

Davis, who played only 10 games for Triple-A Buffalo in 2010 before being called up by the Mets, said there’s no timetable for his return.

“Hopefully, if I rake, I’ll be up there soon, but they didn’t have a date or anything,” he said.

Davis, who grew up in Scottsdale, Ariz., and was an All-American at Arizona State, has been reunited in Las Vegas with 51s hitting coach George Greer, his former Class-A hitting instructor.

“It’s good to see him, but I wish it was in different circumstances,” he said. “My job right now is to go try to work on things and help the 51s win some games and maybe show some of the younger guys in here that stuff like this does happen and you can bounce back from it.”