Pirates notebook: After escaping New York, Davis returns
NEW YORK — Ike Davis escaped from New York last month with his trade to the Pirates.
On Saturday, he returned to the city where he received intensive public scrutiny regarding his struggles with the Mets. For example, the New York Daily News headline a day after Davis was traded April 19: “Take a Hike, Ike!”
The Pirates were hoping a change of scenery would help the former first-round pick reach his potential and boost the Pirates' first base production. And perhaps the power of changing scenery explains Davis' first month with the Pirates. Davis entered Yankee Stadium batting .285 with a .382 on-base percentage since being traded. Davis was batting .208 at the time of the trade.
What's the biggest benefit in leaving New York?
“It's calmer. I don't know if it's a plus or a minus. It's just different cities. It's just different. I don't know if it's better or worse. I was happy (there). I'm happy now,” Davis said. “I'm playing better. If I had stayed with the Mets, who knows what I'd be hitting, but right now I feel pretty good at the plate.”
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said certain players benefit by leaving New York.
“I do believe in it because I know of multiple players who have gone there and maybe a year in they were re-thinking the process,” said Hurdle after Davis was acquired. “It is a place only a certain kind of player can play in and play well. … I played in New York as a part-time player. It was dramatically different than playing in St. Louis as a part-time player or in Kansas City or Cincinnati.”
What's the biggest difference in playing New York? Hurdle said it is the media spotlight. For example, Davis was surrounded by a much larger media contingent before his locker on Saturday, peppered with questions for more than 20 minutes.
“There's more scrutiny once you leave the park than anywhere else and there's tons more scrutiny at the park,” Hurdle said. “From a player's perspective, especially if you get in that situation Ike was in ... all the sudden all you are doing is answering questions.”
When Davis met with Hurdle after being traded, Hurdle told Davis he had a “blank chalkboard” with the Pirates.
Still, Davis added there's still pressure to perform in Pittsburgh, too.
Said Davis: “You still get booed if you strike out.”
Grilli throws another simulated game
Pirates closer Jason Grilli threw a 20-pitch, simulated game Saturday, his second simulated game since straining his left oblique. Hurdle said Grilli will throw another simulated game in Pittsburgh early next week before the team decides on the next step in his return from the disabled list.
“I thought the breaking ball shaped up better than the last time out,” Hurdle said. “I thought it was a very good step forward to him.”
Pirates catcher Russell Martin caught a bullpen, ran the bases and faced live pitching Saturday. Martin said he does not need a rehab assignment in returning from a hamstring pull. Martin will do more catching activities Sunday. “I was running pretty aggressively, which was encouraging,” Martin said.
He said it
Hurdle on Derek Jeter, who likely meets the Pirates for the final time this weekend:
“I shared with Tony Gwynn when he came to Colorado for the last time, I said ‘I don't know how good you are, but I know you've been hot for like 18 years.' I look at Jeter … he's great. When you're good for a long time, that's how you establish greatness.”
Marte returns, Stolmy throws
Starling Marte returned to the starting lineup for the first time since injuring his back a week ago. He batted fifth. … Stolmy Pimentel threw a 28-pitch bullpen session. Hurdle said Pimentel probably will be sent to Bradenton, Fla., for rehab work.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates say goodbye to veteran leaders Burnett, Ramirez
- Cubs’ Fowler, Schwarber deliver to sink Pirates
- Pirates notebook: Fastball command issues hurt Cole against Cubs
- Starkey: Pirates gaining bad big-game rep
- A field day on social media as Pirates’ Rodriguez attacks Gatorade cooler
- Are Pirates better positioned to win it all this postseason?