The last few months have been a bit bumpy for JD Davis, even if he didn’t pay attention to it.
After a difficult slump to end the 2020 season, the 27-year-old’s defense at third base was basically called out by team president Sandy Alderson while his name cropped up in constant trade talks.
Nothing new for the fiery right-hander, who the Mets acquired in a trade from the Houston Astros before the 2019 season.
“I’ve been in trade talks since 2015, 2016… it’s a business and I know in the long run there’s nothing I can do about it,” he said on Wednesday. “It is what it is. I think it’s pretty cool to be in a package deal with Nolan Arenado and Matt Chapman and Kris Bryant.
“It was never something like ‘hey is this going on?’… There were never any talks about that. I’m kind of a guy who isn’t much on social media… I don’t like to read that stuff.”
Despite late-season struggles in 2020, Davis possesses a .288 batting average and .884 OPS in two seasons with the Mets — offensive production that makes it somewhat easier to overlook defensive question marks at both third base and left field; where he’s mostly played throughout his Mets tenure.
With no designated hitter in the National League this year, for now, Dominic Smith is likely to penciled in at left field, leaving David the man at third base — which could very well be to the chagrin of Alderson.
“There’s no verbal [confirmation] or anything like that. Just action,” Davis said. “This year it’s solely been on third base. It’s something that has been unofficially officially said so I figure third base will be where I get a majority of my reps.”
One would believe it would bring on extra pressure to up his defensive game, but Davis admitted something entirely different while ensuring that he’s working on improving his glove at the hot corner.
“[It provides] the comfort of failing,” he said. “That’s such a weird thing but when you get 50 reps at left field, 50 reps at third, and you misplay a ball and you have to wait two days… it’s different. Just to stick with one position and stick with that comfort of failing, you’re able to grow.”