Port ST. Lucy – Chili Davis is back and half vaccinated.
The Mets’ hitting coach, who worked remotely last season as an awkward situation put him at high risk if he were to contract COVID-19, with a dose of vaccine in his arm Spring training has arrived. He is set to gain a second shot while at Florida, which has given him peace of mind to rejoin the Mets after coaching a challenging season from 2020.
“It would have been very uncomfortable if I had come back without being vaccinated,” Davis said Wednesday after the Met’s workout. “It makes things more normal for me. I know it does not stop you from getting the virus, but it helps a lot knowing that it will help my body fight the virus a lot better. I was very happy when that happened because then I decided to come back here and do what I wanted to do, and what I loved to do was very easy to decide. “
Davis, 61, coached from his home in Arizona last season, joined the Mets’ Hetters on pregame zoom calls and offered his help over the phone or screen. But it was hardly in the room with his players, which many Mets referred to during the season.
“I missed being around them, because they missed being around me because the conversation is important,” Davis said. “Especially when you’re in the heat of a game.”
Now, Davis is back with an offense that led hitters (.272) and OPS-plus (122) last season, but still had its flaws. The 2020 Mets scored 4.77 runs per game – good for 13th in the MLB – and gave up a league-high 445 runners on base. He struggled fiercely with the runners on scoring positions, batting just 245, which fell short of the .256 league average. Which included hitting only 4-for-36 (.111) with four sacrificial flies with runners on second and third.
Davis plans to fix it in spring training. Two years ago at camp, he would take hitters who were not playing on a back field someday to work on situational hitting – going through situations and discussing attack plans. It will return this spring.
“Not only are we actively trying to work on it, but we will discuss it,” Davis said. “We go through it very much every day because what we are trying to do is a habit where thinking is done on the deck. When you step up to the plate, you have a plan for how you are going to bat. “