Ike Davis has struggled all season, hitting just .163 after missing most of last year with an ankle injury, but manager Terry Collins repeatedly made it very clear that the Mets had no intention of demoting the first baseman to the minors.
And then yesterday Collins’ tune changed a bit, according to Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger.
When asked about Davis’ status, Collins replied: “There is nothing etched in stone. We will never say something’s not going to happen.”
Jason Bay is due back from the disabled list fairly soon and Collins has already said he’ll resume starting in left field, which could push Kirk Nieuwenhuis to right field and potentially move Lucas Duda to first base. Which would also mean Davis going to the bench or Triple-A at age 25.
Before being shut down last season Davis played 36 games and hit .302 with seven homers, eight doubles, and a .925 OPS. He’s played 38 games so far this season, hitting .163 with five homers, four doubles, and a .524 OPS. So much of the power is still there, but Davis is having very poor luck getting singles to drop and he’s also struggling to control the strike zone with a 39/10 K/BB ratio.
Yankees’ special advisor and former outfielder Hideki Matsui expects to help the club “convince or recruit” Japanese two-way star Shohei Otani, according to a report from MLB.com’s Deesha Thosar. The Yankees are currently viewed as the favorites to sign Otani, though there still figures to be plenty of competition for his services when he finally becomes eligible to enter Major League Baseball.
Matsui also told Thosar that while he hasn’t seen a player find success as a hybrid pitcher/slugger in the majors, he’s taken notice of Otani’s success in both areas. “He’s done well in Japan, so as a baseball fan I’m looking forward to how he’s going to do here in the Majors and in the U.S.,” Matsui said, later adding, “If [pitching and hitting is] something he wants to do, and the team wants it, then why not?”
Neither the Yankees nor any other suitor should be too concerned with Otani’s ability to translate his .332 batting average and 3.20 ERA to MLB — at least, not just yet. There are still a few roadblocks in his path to the major leagues, most notably the lack of approval from the Players Association. Per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, the union doesn’t want to sign off on an agreement that would give the Nippon Ham Fighters a $20 million posting fee in exchange for Otani’s services. According to the posting system rules, Otani himself would be eligible to receive no more than a $4 million signing bonus.
The good news in all of this? The union agreed to reach a final decision by Monday, November 21, so there’s still a chance Major League Baseball will see the talented two-way player bring his unique skillset to the field in 2018.