Ike Davis and Lucas Duda Are On The Rise
Ike Davis may be batting below the Mendoza line at this point of the season, but the first basemen’s fortunes have taken a positive turn over the last several games. Davis started out hitless through the first five games of the season, but after hitting his first home run of the season in Philadelphia the first baseman has been steadily improving.
Davis is only batting .180 and May is already four days old, but there have been some encouraging signs and trends for the corner infielder lately. After striking out 10 times between April 17th – 24th, Davis has only struck out five times in his last seven games. In addition to cutting down on his strike-out totals, the first baseman also managed to compile a five game hitting streak that helped him raise his average to .180 after batting .123 in late April.
Davis’ timing looks to be much better than it was at the beginning of the season and he looks more comfortable at the plate. Hitting coach Dave Hudgens recently said that the first baseman looks to be coming around and that belief has been reaffirmed in the last 7 games.
On the other hand, Lucas Duda’s stock also seems to be trending upward as the outfielder has recorded 3 multi-hit games in his last 6 starts. Duda was shelved for the Mets’ last contest with an illness, but the team should receive a much needed boost to their lineup when the right fielder returns. Duda was providing the Mets with solid contributions when he was starting as he managed to drive in 8 runs from April 24th – 29th.
Coming into the last week of April, the outfielder had been batting below the Mendoza line, but two separate three game hitting streaks have seen Duda climb to .256 on the young MLB season. Dude has also kept the strike-out total to a minimum as he has only whiffed a total of 6 times in his last 9 games.
It could be easy to dismiss the value of Ike Davis and Lucas Duda as they are not particularly standing out on the offensive side of things. However, both of the players seem to be improving with every game and the Mets can use every bit of production after being swept by the Houston Astros.
Fangraphs recently illustrated the biggest reason for optimism with Duda as the right fielder was making more contact in his most recent at-bats before falling victim to the flu that has been going through the Mets’ clubhouse. Regardless, Davis and Duda are doing what it takes in order to improve their game and help their team out on offense. If the Mets are to have a shot at contending in the N.L East, then the team needs to have Duda and Davis generating scoring opportunities and driving in runs. For the meantime, the duo seems to be improving, but it will take a concerted effort from Duda and Davis in order to maintain their recent progression.