The Mets kicked off their 4 game series against the Pirates last night, losing by the score of 5-2. Prior to the game, Mets players were able to catch up with their good friend and former teammate 1B Ike Davis. Davis was traded earlier this season to make room for Lucas Duda as the everyday first baseman.
Davis was dealt on April 18th to the Pirates for Triple-A RP Zack Thornton and player-to-be-named Blake Taylor. The Mets front office and manager Terry Collins were hopeful that either Davis or Duda would solidify themselves as the everyday starter during spring training. However, injuries limited opportunities for both players, creating a logjam at first base between the two lefties.
In 2010, Davis appeared poised to take over the 1B position in New York for years to come. In his rookie campaign, Ike batted .264 with 19 HR and 71 RBI. In 2011, Davis was hitting .302 with 7 HR and 25 RBI in early May, when a freak ankle injury in Colorado curbed him for the remainder of the season.
When Davis returned to the lineup the following spring, he was not the same player. He batted .201 in the first half of 2012, but remained surprisingly productive, driving in 49 runs. He finished the year incredibly well, ultimately hitting 32 HR on the year and garnering 90 RBI. He led the league with 21 HR in the second half of the season.
Despite such a promising resurgence, Davis relapsed and struggled mightily throughout the entire 2013 season. He finished the year with a .205 average, hitting only 9 HR with 33 RBI in over 100 games.
With Lucas Duda waiting in the wings, the Mets could afford to move the inconsistent first baseman. Thus far it would appear that the Mets are content with their decision. Duda is hitting .252 with a team leading 12 home runs and 39 RBI. His OPS is .828. Meanwhile Davis has adjusted nicely in Pittsburgh, no longer having to deal with constant scrutiny of the New York media and fans. Since being traded, Ike is hitting .251 with 4 homers and 19 RBI. He sports a .362 OBP over that span of time.
On Thursday night, Duda went 1-4 with 1 HR while Davis went 0-2 with 2 BB. On the season, Ike is 0-9 against his former ball club.
Asked if he keeps in touch with any particular former teammates, Davis said: “Random texts here and there, but during the season it’s tough. We’ve got jobs to do and we’re on different schedules all the time. I’ve texted the majority of everyone once, I think. But we’re on different teams and it’s time to move on.”(Rubin, ESPN/New York)
The deal appears to have worked out well for both Davis and the Mets. Though the trade was necessary, Davis will be remembered by Mets fans for his great potential, power bat and knack for flipping into the home dugout of Citi Field while securing foul pop ups.
Davis and the Pirates will continue their series against the Mets tonight at 7:05 PM ET, when rookie pitchers Jacob de Grom (1-4, 3.75 ERA) and Brandon Cumpton (3-2, 4.93 ERA) face off at PNC Park.