Has Ike Davis' confidence level plummeted so far down that a demotion to the minor leagues may be in order?
That is the burning question Mets fans have been wondering since he got off to a nightmarish 0-for-18 start to the 2012 season.
To make matters worse, Davis, who is batting just .172 through 27 games, may be letting his hitting woes take a toll on his defense. You never want to see a young ballplayer take their mistakes on offense out on the field with them, but that might be exactly what is starting to happen with the 25-year-old first baseman.
"We lost the game because I made an error," a visibly irritated Davis said after the game, according to a mets.com report. "That's what I'm frustrated about."
Davis has just one hit in his last 12 at-bats, which may have caused Mets manager Terry Collins to bench him for the game on May 5 in favor of Justin Turner.
"I'm not panicking," Davis said after the game on May 4. "I shouldn't panic yet. I'll get better. I mean, I can't really see myself getting any worse."
You can just tell by his body language that he doesn't have the same swagger he did in 2010, when he hit .264 in 523 plate appearances. He showed significant progress last season before going down with an ankle injury, as he hit .302 with 25 RBIs in just 36 games.
It's still too early to say he won't turn it around on his own, but what will the New York Mets do if his batting average is still south of the "Mendoza Line" when the calendar turns to June?
There's not many appealing options for first basemen on the Mets bench right now. Valentino Pascucci, first basemen for the Mets' Triple-A team, the Buffalo Bisons, hasn't exactly been tearing the cover off the ball either. He's hitting a modest .265 with 18 runs batted in through 27 games this year in the minor leagues.
"I don't know if he's ever had a slump," Collins said of Davis' hitting woes in a nydailynews.com report. "Now here he is, facing the toughest time of his career at the major-league level and that's very, very hard to do, not even talking about the market we're in. We'll grind through it."
On May 4, Davis rolled the same ankle that forced him to miss the entire 2011 season, but it appears to be a day-to-day injury that won't result in a trip to the disabled list.
The Mets already dropped Davis from the cleanup spot down to No. 6 in the lineup to take some of the pressure off, but sending him down for a short stint in the minors may help to clear his head. He would then likely return stronger than ever after working out the kinks of his long, looping swing.
What should the Mets' do about Ike Davis' hitting woes? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
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