J.D. Davis finally gets first chance at first base with Mets

J.D. Davis finally gets first chance at first base with Mets

SAN DIEGO — J.D. Davis arrived to the Mets earlier than the 2019 season as a possible part-time first baseman for the group. 

It solely took 3 ½ years, however Davis was lastly set to obtain that chance Monday night time. 

Following Dominic Smith’s demotion final week to Triple-A Syracuse to work out his offensive struggles, supervisor Buck Showalter has turned to Davis (a minimum of for now) as Pete Alonso’s backup at first base. Alonso was scheduled to begin at DH towards the Padres, giving his legs a refresher, with Davis at first base. 

Davis’ solely earlier main league expertise on the place got here in 2018, when he performed eight video games at first base for the Astros. Primarily a 3rd baseman and DH, the Mets have additionally used Davis in left area throughout his tenure with the membership. 

“I’m fairly snug at first base,” Davis mentioned at Petco Park. “It’s not one thing loopy. It’s not catcher or shortstop or heart area or one thing like that. I simply must go on the market and do my half and play catch.” 

J.D. Davis is making his first begin at first base with the Mets on Monday towards the Padres.USA TODAY Sports activities

Earlier within the season Showalter had tinkered with the thought of utilizing Mark Canha as a backup first baseman. However within the final two weeks Davis started working with infield coach Joey Cora on the place. Davis’ latest emergence on the plate has definitely helped his trigger: he entered play 13-for-35 (.371) with a .907 OPS over his final 10 video games. That included a Tenth-inning double on Sunday that knocked within the go-ahead run within the Mets’ victory over the Dodgers. 

Showalter was requested concerning the variety of reps Davis acquired at first base in spring coaching. 

“Not sufficient, to be trustworthy with you,” Showalter mentioned. “That was one problem that I believed the shortened spring coaching, he received a bit work there, however he’s actually picked up the tempo the final couple of weeks with [Cora]. We knew this was going to occur in some unspecified time in the future, particularly after we despatched Dom out.” 

Although Davis has seen loads of motion at third base over time, there can be an adjustment interval wanted. 

“You’ll be able to’t say the infield is the infield,” Showalter mentioned. “It’s completely different angles. It’s footwork at first base. I feel most likely getting snug with the clock and the footwork a bit bit.” 

Davis joked that he let Taijuan Walker’s “large palms” break in his first baseman’s mitt. A group staffer has additionally used the mitt to heat up the pitchers, additional getting ready it for recreation motion. 

“Cora and Buck have requested me what my ideas are on first base and I’m a bit new,” Davis mentioned. “However I mentioned I can go over there and catch the ball and do my half and I feel Pete was a bit heavy on the legs [Sunday], so he wanted to DH. It’s my half to step in and play first base.” 

Alonso’s protection has regressed this season — he ranks solely within the sixth percentile amongst MLB gamers on the place with minus-four outs above common, based on Baseball Savant. However Showalter appreciates Alonso’s dedication to enchancment. 

“It’s like operating,” Showalter mentioned. “Pete will not be a seven or eight runner, however he tries to run. Pete desires to be a Gold Glove first baseman and he’s attempting every single day to be nearly as good as he’s able to being and the place it finally ends up and what occurs in the midst of the sport, I can stay with it when individuals are attempting as onerous as he does.”

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