Yesterday, Ike Davis had a conversation with Mike Puma, of the NY Post, where he admitted to having an oblique injury for the majority of the 2013 season, which he kept secret from trainers and coaches.
Davis said, “I probably should have said something earlier, but what are you going to do? I wanted to play better, I didn’t want to come out. If I was hitting .380, I probably would have been like, Maybe I should let this cool down so I don’t miss [extensive] time, but when you’re hitting .200, you can’t take weeks off.”
The first thing that comes to mind regarding this story is what is with the Mets and oblique injuries? The second thing that comes to mind is the fact that when Davis was mired in his slump, the best thing for him to do would have been to take two weeks off so he could clear his head. He was obviously playing mind games with himself and one of the best things a player can do to fix a slump is to step away and stop over-thinking everything.
Today, the plot thickened. Davis apparently approached Puma this morning regarding his story making it sound like Davis was making up excuses. Davis wasn’t too happy.
Metsblog posted some audio earlier today of the encounter. In it, Davis tells Puma “We talked for 20 minutes, I said it’s a basically pointless story. You made it look like it was an excuse. That’s what we talked about before you wrote it, that you shouldn’t write this because it doesn’t matter. But, that was nowhere in the article.”
I doubt Davis’ oblique being tweaked had anything to do with his hitting woes in 2013. The hitting woes had more to do with his swing mechanics and how far he dropped his hands before swinging (above his head, down to waist level). While he still drops his hands, as was evident in the video posted by Adam Rubin of Davis taking batting practice yesterday, it’s not as dramatic. He now keeps his hands at about shoulder height in his stance, cutting down the distance he drops his hands. This should allow him to get to the ball quicker.
After he made this adjustment down in Triple-A last season, he was hitting much better. Take a look at the splits below:
After the adjustment, you can see that Davis really became an offensive threat again. He increased his walks and batting average while reducing his strikeouts (and he really reduced his strikeouts). He had almost as many hits, homers and RBI as he did in the first half of the year but with over 100 fewer at-bats.
If Davis can stay focused, there is enough here to think he can get his career back on track. He shouldn’t be concerned with what Mike Puma, or anyone else, thinks about 2013. He has to put 2013 behind him for good, or he will never be able to move on with his career.