Ike Davis will get full attention of staff at Triple-A Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- Ike Davis will be headlining in Vegas starting Tuesday night. It probably won't be a short-term engagement.
"It may be two weeks. It could be a month. I don't know," Triple-A Las Vegas 51s manager Wally Backman said Monday night about Davis, who was farmed out by the Mets on Sunday with his batting average sitting at .161. "He's coming here for us to fix him and we're going try to fix him. I think there's a lot more mental than there is physical. When I sit him down and talk to him, we're going to try to attack that. Try to clear his head from everything. He was getting, from what I heard, lots of different people giving him a lot of different information. So basically, mentally, he's totally [messed] up."
Davis is expected to report to Cashman Field Tuesday to begin the work he hopes will get him back to Citi Field. Backman and 51s hitting coach George Greer will work two-on-one with Davis in the searing afternoon desert heat about five hours before the first baseman takes the field for his first minor-league action since 2010.
"We're just going to go from ground zero," said Greer, 66, who coached Davis at Class A St. Lucie and in the Arizona Fall League in 2009. "He'll tell me how he feels, and I'll tell him what I see, and because we have worked together in the past, we'll come hopefully to a happy medium where he can start feeling good about himself."
Backman made it clear that Davis won't be heading back to the bigs until he shows consistent progress. Flashes won't get it done, he said.
"I think Ike knows that," he said. "He's got a good head on his shoulders. He's a good kid. It's not going to be, 'Hey, if you get 15 hits this week, you're gone.' We've got to see you do this consistently. Once he does it where I feel he does it consistently, I'm going to tell Terry."
That would be Mets manager Terry Collins, who told Newsday Monday in a telephone interview that his message to Davis is "put some at-bats in, get your stroke down, start making solid contact and get your [butt] back here . . . There's so much heat on him now. You watch him go up and you're hearing guys cheering their [butt] off for a good at-bat. That can't be."
Greer said he has been watching video of Davis since the rumors started about him getting sent down. He and Backman have seen a swing that has changed, and not for the better.
"We've watched hours and hours of tape on him back when he first went to the big leagues from the minor leagues," Backman said. "He's made so many changes. I think personally, it's been too many changes. Try to get him back to what he did to get to the big leagues. We're going to work with him on a daily basis. It's going to be one-on-one work with me, him and George. Nobody else is out there. We're going to let him really try to figure it out."
With Marc Carig