Should the New York Mets Demote Ike Davis to the Minors?

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The first half of the season for New York Mets first baseman Ike Davis continues to deteriorate with each passing game.

Davis has just one hit, a single, in his last 33 at-bats. During that same span, Davis has struck out 13 times compared to drawing just one walk. Davis' last RBI came on May 9 while he hasn't hit a home run in 77 plate appearances since April 25. His .234 on-base percentage is what you'd expect out of a player who enters the game in the late innings for defense.

Unfortunately, Davis' struggles at the plate have begun to carry over to the field. In the first inning of Monday night's loss to the Cincinnati Reds, Davis lollygagged on the basepaths and watched a play unfold as Joey Votto crashed into him rounding first base. Votto was awarded second base on an interference call and eventually scored on Brandon Phillips' two-run single. The Mets lost 4-3.

SNY broadcaster Ron Darling was aghast at what he called Davis' "casualness" during the play. I can only imagine what Keith Hernandez, one of baseball's all-time greatest defensive first basemen, would've said had he been calling the game. It wouldn't have been pretty.

Davis also cost the Mets in the field during Matt Harvey's last start against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, May 17. In the first inning, Davis not only failed to scoop a throw from shortstop Ruben Tejada, but he also allowed the ball to get by him. Although not entirely his fault, Davis' utter lack of concentration cost the Mets two runs, Chicago's only runs of the game.

However, the Mets aren't planning to demote Davis to the minors anytime soon, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN. The Mets clearly believe that Davis can turn it around as he did in the second half of last season when he hit 20 home runs to go with 41 RBIs and a respectable .255/.335/.566 slash line.

Of course, entering the 2012 season, Davis was returning from a season-ending ankle injury and dealing with the effects of Valley Fever. His struggles in the first half of last season were predictable, if not warranted. This season, Davis lacks the excuses on which to fall back on.

So, should the Mets send Davis to the minors?

The logic is that New York isn't likely to contend this season so the team might as well let Davis attempt to figure out it while working with big-league coaches. Other options at first base like Justin Turner and Lucas Duda aren't exactly enticing.

But, that's the type of logic that perpetuates losing. There needs to be a level of accountability that all players, regardless of pedigree and potential, are held to. There's a standard of expectation that Davis is simply not meeting on a daily basis. His demotion to the minor leagues would send a message across the organization that each player's spot must be earned.

Now, that's not to say the Mets should give up on the 26-year-old. That's hardly the case. Davis is under organizational control through 2016 and presents a cost-effective option at first base for the cash-strapped Mets.

Davis and the Mets avoided arbitration this past offseason by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.125 million. Davis is likely to command a similar figure next season if he turns it around. That's certainly a number the Mets can live with, especially if Davis is producing.

The problem is that Davis is not producing. For now, the Mets should send Davis to Triple-A Las Vegas to get him at-bats outside of the harsh New York City spotlight.

It couldn't hurt.

Jon Krouner is a freelance writer based out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His work appears in SB Nation, Newsday, The Post-Standard, Rotoviz and Football.com. Follow him on Twitter @jkrouner.

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