Ike Davis exits with a strained right oblique

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Mets first baseman Ike Davis may have played his last game in 2013. In the third inning, with the Mets leading 1-0, Davis skied a sacrifice fly to left field. He grabbed at his side, then left the field gingerly with trainer Ray Ramirez, writes ESPN’s Adam Rubin. Rubin later verified that the injury is a strained right oblique, an injury which likely keeps Davis out for the remainder of the season.

Davis has battled adversity all year long. Through June 9, he mustered a measly .500 OPS before the Mets demoted him to Triple-A Las Vegas. There, he posted a 1.091 OPS in 21 games, prompting the Mets to give him another shot. The power didn’t return to levels the Mets would have preferred, but his plate discipline was much improved. Between July 5 and August 30, he drew 38 walks (three intentional) and struck out 35 times in 168 plate appearances. Comparatively, from the beginning of the season through June 9, he drew 19 walks (two intentional) and struck out 66 times in 207 PA.

Rubin suggests the left-handed Lucas Duda and right-handed Josh Satin could share time at first base. Rubin also wonders if the Mets will tender Davis a contract in the off-season, as he will have earned $3.125 million this season and will enter his second year of arbitration eligibility.

Javier Baez: “This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it.”

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Infielder Javier Baez is back in camp with the Cubs after helping Puerto Rico to a second-place finish in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was the focal point of what was, to many, the most memorable play of the entire tournament: Baez pointed at catcher Yadier Molina, who was attempting to throw out a would-be base-stealer, before applying the tag for the final out of the eighth inning.

While Baez didn’t receive much criticism for his theatrics, aside from an insignificant handful of spoilsports, he is one of the players who most exemplifies the emotional, celebratory culture that foreign players bring to Major League Baseball. U.S. (and Tigers) second baseman Ian Kinsler is on the other side of that spectrum, as he said prior to the WBC final that he hopes kids mimic the solemn way U.S. players play the game rather than the emotional, passionate way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play the game.

Baez isn’t about to apologize for the way he and his teammates play the game. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Baez said, “We do a great job playing and having fun out there. That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it. but, you know, everybody’s got their style and their talent. I have a lot of fun.”

He continued, “It’s their choice to look at how we play, how excited we get. To us, it’s really huge what we did, even though we didn’t win. All of Puerto Rico got really together. We were going through a hard time over there and everything got fixed up for at least three weeks. Hopefully, they keep it like that.”

Mike Trout proposes change to spring training umpiring

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout came up with an idea that would allow less experienced umpires an opportunity to call some major league spring training action. As ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Trout thinks the veteran umpires should only call five or six innings as they get back into regular season shape. The rest of the innings could be called by minor league umpires.

According to Olney, baseball officials loved Trout’s idea when they heard about it last week. One official said, “It makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons.” Another said, “That’s Trout — he’s always paying attention to stuff beyond what he’s doing.”

Of course, I have to agree that the suggestion is a great one. As Olney notes, the turnover rate for umpires every year is relatively low, so younger, less-experienced umpires have few opportunities to get a feel for what it’s like calling major league action. Even beyond the actual interpretation of the rules, interacting with big league personalities would also be helpful for minor league umpires.