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.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.