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Ike Davis: Is He Ready to Return to the New York Mets?

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COMMENTARY | The New York Mets have decided July 5th is the right time to bring Ike Davis back to the major leagues. He's spent almost a full month in Triple-A with the Las Vegas 51s, and will make his return against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Davis has hit .293/.424/.667 in the Pacific Coast League, but is now the right time to promote him?

Re-calling Davis from Vegas now makes sense; the Mets recently finished their last home stand before the All-Star break, allowing Ike to make this transition without having to deal with the New York media. Also, they'll be facing a string a right-handed pitchers; New York will be seeing at least four right-handers in a row, starting July 5th in Milwaukee.

Davis is hitting .161/.242/.258 in the majors this season, so he's struggled against all pitchers, regardless of which hand they throw with. However, Terry Collins wants to put his first baseman in a position to succeed. That would lead to him avoiding southpaw starters if possible, since he's hit .157/.189/.235 against them in 2013.

Collins will immediately insert Davis into the starting lineup, pushing the hot-hitting Josh Satin to the bench for the time being. It's tough to watch Satin take a seat; he's currently riding a 10-game hitting streak and has put up an impressive .353/.468/.549 line in 51 at-bats, but it was bound to happen upon Davis returning.

The hitch we saw in Ike's swing earlier this season has apparently disappeared after working with Wally Backman and the rest of the 51s coaching staff. Now it's time to see if Ike will be part of the future in New York or not.

While I would have liked to see him strike out less in the minors (18 strikeouts in 21 games), his patience has improved. The 17 walks he drew in 75 at-bats shows he's not swinging at pitches out of the strike zone nearly as much as he was before.

His first game back won't really matter, though. We'll have to wait and see how Davis does over the next few weeks to find out if the changes he made in Triple-A will stick in the majors. Taking that a step further, the true test will be how he performs at the start of 2014; that is, unless the Mets decide he's not part of the future.

I was recently in favor of watching Ike Davis stay in the minor leagues until after the All-Star break. Prior to hitting a two-run homer on July 2nd against the Fresno Grizzlies, Davis was enduring a 5-for-28 stretch, giving him a .179 average during that span. Following that home run, Ike collected three more hits the next night on July 3rd, including another home run.

His seventh homer as a member of the 51s was enough for the Mets to re-call him from Vegas. Is Davis ready to face major league pitching? Time will tell, but New York chose the right time to bring him back. As mentioned before, the schedule works perfectly; he doesn't have to deal with the media at Citi Field, and won't be facing any left-handed starters. Also, his confidence is high with homers in two straight games and four hits overall during that span.

I heard some fans say they'd rather see Davis only come back as a September call-up. That wouldn't allow the organization enough time to evaluate him and figure out whether or not he's worth keeping. Satin is playing well, but as of July 5th, the Mets are 12.5 games back in both the National League East and the Wild Card race. It's not as if they're sitting Satin while the Amazins are winning and in contention for a playoff spot.

Now is the time to find out what Ike Davis is truly made of. The question as to whether he's part of the future core of the Mets organization will likely be answered in the next few weeks. If it doesn't work out, he'd have no one to blame but himself; the Mets have done everything in their power to make his transition back to the majors as easy as possible.

Matt Musico's Mets opinion has been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, MetsBlog, Amazin' Avenue, Mets Merized Online, and Rising Apple. He currently serves as Executive Editor of MetsMinors.net.

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