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Ike Davis gained confidence because of visit by COO Jeff Wilpon

Ike Davis of the Mets waits on deck

Ike Davis of the Mets waits on deck in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. (May 24, 2013) Credit: Jim McIsaac

MILWAUKEE -- The Mets still consider Ike Davis a major part of the future.

And in case there was any doubt about that, chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon took the unusual step of dropping in on the first baseman in Las Vegas last week, two days before he was summoned back to the big leagues.

"It's nice to hear that the guy that I'm working for has confidence in me," Davis said. "If they didn't have confidence in me and they didn't want me here, [it] would have been a little tougher."

Hitting coach Dave Hudgens said he already has shown improved pitch recognition and sharper swing mechanics since the demotion. The changes were in evidence again Saturday night, when Davis went 0-for-2 with a strikeout but walked three times. That followed a 3-for-5 performance with two RBIs on Friday night against the Brewers, his first game back after a demotion that lasted nearly a month. Said Hudgens: "It's just a matter of slowing down the tempo a little bit."

A popular figure in the clubhouse, Davis was expected to anchor the Mets' offense this season after hitting 32 homers in 2012. Instead, he mirrored his first-half struggles last season, though this time he couldn't avoid a demotion.

Davis started at cleanup again Saturday night after boosting his average from .161 to .173.

"Obviously, it was nice to know that you're just not discounted," he said. "I had a bad couple of months, and to know that the owner still thinks highly of me is nice . . . It's definitely nice to know that he still thinks I can still be the player he wants me to be."

Davis said the gesture from Wilpon was reassuring. The owner dropped in on Davis on his way back from a trip to the West Coast.

"I like an open forum," Davis said. "It's easier to work with an open forum and with communication. It's nice that we were able to do that."

With David Lennon

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