Ike Davis confident he can avoid ankle surgery

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We may finally have some resolution in the great Ike Davis ankle saga of 2011.

Davis, who hasn’t played since May 11 due to a bone bruise in his left ankle, told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com today that he is confident he will be able to avoid surgery. The 24-year-old first baseman has been pain-free for the past two weeks and resumed baseball activities over the weekend.

“Right now, all we can do is try to do the best thing for my career,” he said. “The best thing is not to have surgery right now. If it stays like this, I won’t have to.”

Davis still needs to visit team doctors when the Mets return home to New York later this week, but barring a setback, he plans to have a normal offseason before gearing up for spring training.

We’ll never know what Davis would have done had he played the entire season, but he was off to a tremendous start before his freak collision with teammate David Wright, batting .302/.383/.543 with seven home runs, 25 RBI and a .925 OPS over his first 149 plate appearances. The Mets are hoping 2012 isn’t nearly as cruel.

Astros name Justin Verlander ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, the team crowned ace Justin Verlander the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.