Ike Davis 'starting to feel a little better' in Triple-A Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- Ike Davis picked up two hits Wednesday night at Cashman Field, but no adoring fans waited for his autograph or called in to talk radio to deconstruct his at-bats.
"In Vegas? No. It's awesome," Davis said. "It's pretty low-key here, which is nice."
The quiet Davis finds could be part of the recipe for repairing the slugging first baseman. For a third straight day, he took nearly an hour of early batting practice in the withering desert sun under the watch of manager Wally Backman and hitting coach George Greer.
Demoted to Triple-A Sunday by the Mets, Davis went 2-for-8 in his first two games in Las Vegas, walking twice and striking out three times. Davis said he's "starting to feel a little better" before listing the swing changes on his to-do list.
"Being a little quieter, more relaxed, not as much movement, picking up the ball a little easier and just having a smooth swing," Davis said. "Just slowing things down, trying to calm it down a little bit and use my hands a little more and not be so herky-jerky with my body. It's allowing me to be a little smoother and get to fastballs a little easier."
Davis struggled to a .161 average in 55 games this season with the Mets after hitting 32 homers in 2012. His trip back to the minors for the first time in three years could last a little while, a fact Davis accepts.
"It's life, man," Davis said. "Can't change it."
Backman called the adjustments made so far this week by Davis "small," but praised his willingness to put in extra work.
"Nobody wants to get sent down from the big leagues, but he came down with a good attitude," Backman said. "He's out there early every day working. He knows that he has to work on some things.
"The one thing that I really believe, that I've talked with Ike about, is you've got to find your own swing. You've got to be able to know how to fix yourself at times through the course of the game and become your best hitting coach. All coaches can sit back and you can see the mistakes that a player makes, but when a player himself can feel those mistakes that he's making and try to make an adjustment to it, it makes you a better player."
Newsday reported Thursday that Backman irritated the Mets' front office with his comments about fixing Davis. Asked later Thursday if he had spoken to anyone in New York, Backman mentioned only a talk with Mets manager Terry Collins.
"Me and Terry talked at length today about [Davis]," Backman said. "He got better. He's looking better. He's making improvements. It's not something that's just going to jump over the top of the hill. He's got to work at it, but he's going in the right direction."