New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis is off to another cold start hitting .172/.312/.583 through 27 games so far this season. Last year Davis also started off ice cold but started to hit when June rolled around. For Mets fans this is no reason to panic and the Mets don’t need to find an alternative at first base, at least not yet.
Obviously, it is hard to win games when one of the biggest bats in the lineup is hovering below the Mendoza Line. However, Davis hit .185/.241/.309 last March/April and .154/.214/.282 in May before erupting in June to produce a .264/.363/.563 slash line with six home runs, one more than in the two-plus months prior.
Davis looks like he is just one of those ballplayers who takes a while to find his groove. Mark Teixeira is another hitter that heats up with the weather so it isn’t an uncommon problem, even in New York. The real concern comes if Davis, who is still only 26, lets these slow starts get to him and let them effect the rest of his season. If by the middle of June he still isn’t hitting then the Mets might need to start thinking about alternative options. However, 27 games are not enough to judge a player, at least not one with Davis’ track record.
Who would have thought that Davis, who hit only five home runs through May, would have ended up with 32 on the year? Yes, it is frustrating to see Davis belt 32 home runs last year and not expect him to produce on a similar level this year from start to finish. Davis will get his home runs, that much is certain.
What is a little disconcerting is Davis’ strikeout rate is on pace to surpass last year’s career high of 24.1 percent. Right now, Davis is striking out in 29.9 percent of his plate appearances which is a little alarming. There is still a good chance that Davis will find his groove and start sending baseballs over the fence soon enough. There is still plenty of time for his strikeout levels to return to their norm.
If Davis isn’t producing in another month or two then Mets fans can panic. Until then I would sit back and wait for the home run barrage that is probably coming. At this point who would replace him anyway?