Feeling good in December is a start and Ike Davis hopes to carry that into spring training -- and beyond.
"I feel great, I'm actually super excited, I'm healthy, hopefully I don't get some crazy disease," the Mets first baseman said Tuesday at Citi Field where the Mets hosted 100 children at the team's annual holiday party.
Last spring started on a dubious note when Davis was diagnosed with Valley Fever, a fungal condition that had no apparent symptoms -- except perhaps on his batting average. How much was it to blame for a first-half average of .201? "I could say it had all to do with it, or it could literally have just been me not playing well," he said. "I don't know." In 2011, he missed all but 36 games because of a severe bone bruise in his ankle.
The lack of production in the first half created significant ripples. First, there was talk of sending Davis to the minors, then trade rumors surfaced when it seemed the club wanted Lucas Duda moved in from the outfield to play first.
"Definitely close to being sent down," Davis said. "But it wouldn't have done anything to send me down . . . I would still have to come up here and prove I can hit here. It worked out, I ended up proving that I still belong here."
Davis came all the way back after the All-Star break, finishing with 32 homers and 90 RBIs. He hit .255 in the second half, .227 for the season. "If you look at the aggregate of the two halves, 32 home runs, that's a real positive regardless of how it happened," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "Otherwise, sure, any player you'd like a little more consistency. We think he still has a lot of room to grow, especially hitting against lefthanded pitching. And if he can figure that out he can be a very exceptional player. If he hit .240 with 30 home runs, 100 RBIs and a .350 on-base percentage, I'll take that in a minute."
Davis agreed, saying, "As far as the power, that's what I want to do. I want to be around 30 and I want to drive in close to 100 RBIs every year or over 100 RBIs. But I don't want to hit .227."