PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Ike Davis cannot seem to steer clear of the spotlight for long.
Coming off a wildly disappointing season and a winter's worth of trade speculation, Davis made waves early this week at the New York Mets' camp when he admitted to playing injured for much of last season.
The first baseman initially told the New York Post that he played from mid-May through the end of August with a sore right oblique muscle, which finally "popped" with a month to go in the regular season. He confirmed that publicly after loudly berating the Post reporter who broke the story.
"It shouldn't have been a story anyway," Davis said. "It's just an overblown thing. Everyone has injuries and they get hurt, so it was pointless to write an article."
Manager Terry Collins, however, was flabbergasted by the news, saying he was "as surprised as anyone" when he heard. Collins said it is imperative that players alert him to all injuries, however minor, so he can make informed decisions on how to proceed.
Davis never did, leaving Collins in the dark. So the Mets were unaware that their first baseman was ailing when he stumbled out to a second straight massive season-opening slump, batting .200 with five home runs in 55 games before a mid-June demotion.
Davis returned from the minors on July 5, batting .267 with four homers the rest of the way. But his oblique did not last, ending his season a month early when it finally tore.
The first baseman's struggles played a significant role in the trade talks that dogged him all winter, though nothing ultimately came of them. The Mets could still deal Davis before Opening Day, but as of right now he is battling Lucas Duda for the team's starting job.
"You can't tell people (about injuries) because you won't play," Davis said. "You always hurt. We always hurt. You play 162 games in how many days? You hurt all the time. Unless you can't physically actually go out and play, you can't say anything. So that's what we do, and we have injuries that last a little longer. Sometimes they never pop. I wish it didn't but it did."
--RHP Matt Harvey threw off flat ground Saturday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery in Oct. 2013. Harvey, who will continue throwing three times per week until he is ready to start pitching off a mound, expects to return to the Mets by Opening Day 2015. He said his first throwing session felt "awesome."
--OF Eric Young, Jr.'s teammates gave him a commemorative wrestling-style belt as a reward for his league-leading 46 stolen bases in 2013. Young is locked in a spring battle to start in left field for the Mets; if he beats out Juan Lagares for a starting outfield job, he will likely bat first in the lineup as well.
--3B David Wright will skip many of his team's early Grapefruit League games in an attempt to avoid the nagging injuries that have plagued him in springs past. Wright, along with 2B Daniel Murphy, will not ramp up his spring playing time until mid-March. "It's one of those things where it's so fickle," he said of spring injuries. "You take a bad swing or something and it just happens."
--RHP Bobby Parnell missed practice Friday with a sore left quadriceps muscle, but was back on the mound the next day. Parnell is currently rehabbing from neck surgery and expects to be ready well in advance of Opening Day.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "This is not a, 'Gee-whiz, if-we-just-waited' moment for us. We're happy with Chris Young. I'm not here to critique Nelson Cruz, but he's a very different player. He brings power to the table, no question about it. But he doesn't bring the defense. He doesn't really have our approach necessarily." -- GM Sandy Alderson on the one-year, $7.25-million contract he gave OF Chris Young early in the offseason, after two-time All-Star Nelson Cruz signed an $8-million deal with the Orioles.