Mets team doctors have diagnosed first baseman Ike Davis with Valley Fever, a fungal disease common in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico with symptoms ranging in severity from easily manageable to potentially life-threatening.
Davis is hoping his experience with the bug falls into that easy-to-manage category. And so far it has.
The talented 24-year-old spoke about the disease Sunday with ESPN New York beat reporter Adam Rubin:
“It’s been the same,” said Davis. “Seriously. I feel great. And I don’t have any symptoms of it. I’m not coughing. I’m not throwing up blood. I’m not doing anything. It’s not even hard to breathe. The doctor said I could play, and just don’t get really, really fatigued. So that’s what we’re doing. And if I get really tired, I kind of just step to the side and take a break.”
Davis was then asked how long he expects the disease to stay in his system:
“It’s person by person. A year, maybe. But another thing is, if you look at it, like 40 percent of people that live in Arizona get it in their life. It doesn’t affect a lot of people that get it. So hopefully I’m one of those guys. … I don’t think I have an extreme case.”
Valley Fever led to outfielder Conor Jackson missing more than 100 games of the 2009 season and completely sidetracked his promising career, but he was far more symptomatic than Davis. Still, the Mets are already planning days off for Davis this spring and could do the same during the regular season.
The Mets entered Sunday night’s game against the Pirates with a disappointing 20-27 record. While the club has dealt with a litany of injuries, manager Terry Collins has also drawn criticism for in-game decision-making, particularly regarding his decision-making.
Owner Fred Wilpon is still Collins’ strongest supporter, however, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports. As a result, the team is unlikely to make a managerial change anytime soon. If the Mets continue to struggle, though, ownership may feel pressured to make a change.
Collins became the longest-tenured manager in Mets history last week. Collins managed the Mets to a 77-85 record in 2011 and has overall helped the club go 501-518, winning the NL Pennant in 2015. He is not signed to a contract beyond this season.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer had a game for the record books on Sunday against the Rays. He finished 4-for-5 with an RBI double, a solo home run, two singles, and three walks in eight plate appearances. Unfortunately for him, the Twins still lost 8-6 in 15 innings.
ESPN’s Stats & Info notes that Mauer is the first Twin to reach base seven times in one game since Rod Carew in 1972 against the Brewers. The last player to reach base seven times in one game (without the aid of an error) was Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford on August 8 last season against the Marlins. The feat has only been accomplished seven times this decade, so about once a year.
After Sunday’s game, Mauer is batting .283/.363/.408 with three home runs, 18 RBI, and 23 runs scored in 171 plate appearances. Not too shabby.