MIAMI -- If there's one thing that impresses Mets manager Terry Collins more than Ike Davis' eye-popping numbers after a slow start to the year, it's the resilience Davis displayed during his offensive turnaround.
"He's certainly responded to the patience the organization had with him after the start," Collins said. "We all knew he had power and we all know he's a good defender. He stayed with his plan. He stayed with the work ethic he has to get his offense going."
According to Collins, the key now for the Mets is to get Davis, who has a career-high 25 home runs and 74 RBIs, off to a faster start next season. Davis hit just .170 with a .220 on-base percentage through the first two months of the season, but has hit .257 with 20 home runs and 53 RBIs since the start of June.
The Mets would also like to see Davis improve against left-handed pitchers, especially since many teams add another lefty in the bullpen when rosters expand each season. Entering Saturday, he is hitting just .179 with seven homers and 18 RBIs against southpaws.
"We've got to get Ike to be a little more productive against left-handed pitching," Collins said. "If that means straightening up [his stance] helps him see the ball better against left-handed hitters, we've got to find that comfort zone where he feels good. ... If he starts doing damage against left-handed pitching, it will change the whole dynamics of your lineup."