NEW YORK -- After the Mets' 8-4 loss to the Marlins on Sunday, Terry Collins said patience was running low and significant changes might be in order. New York has dropped five of its last six games, including four to the Marlins -- who have the worst record in baseball -- and the Mets have fallen to 12 games below .500.
Too many blunders on the basepaths, too many poor at-bats and too many missed opportunities have brought the Mets to their lowest point yet.
"Are we starting to run out of patience?" Collins said. "Yeah."
And just minutes after Collins addressed possible changes, the Mets shook up their roster.
New York optioned first baseman Ike Davis, outfielder Mike Baxter and reliever Robert Carson to Triple-A Las Vegas. General manager Sandy Alderson said the Mets' problems aren't a reflection of the coaching staff.
In corresponding moves, the Mets will call up infielder Josh Satin, outfielder Collin Cowgill and left-hander Josh Edgin from Las Vegas before Tuesday's game against the Cardinals.
"This is not a staff issue," Alderson said. "This is a player issue."
Of the three sent down Sunday, Davis' demotion is the most significant, though it isn't the most surprising. His struggles at the plate have been well documented, and his ability to break out of them has remained elusive.
After going 0-for-3 on Sunday, Davis' average dropped to .161. All season, Davis has tried to remain positive despite the constant questioning and speculation about when he would be sent down to Triple-A.
On Sunday, Davis chose not to speak to reporters about his demotion.
Alderson said this is the time to make the move. Davis clearly wasn't finding a solution while remaining with the Mets.
"I think at some point you just have to say to yourself, 'This is not in his best interest,'" Alderson said. "I was one of his biggest supporters and I just felt that at some point we've got to get him out of here."
Alderson said Davis needs to be able to play every day and work on his swing without having to worry about what the outcome will be.
The Mets five-game winning streak a couple weeks ago briefly overshadowed Davis' struggles. He hit a big, two-run single in the eighth inning against Atlanta on May 26 to help begin that winning streak, and at times since then looked like he was nearing a breakthrough.
But he would quickly fall right back into his slump, again looking overmatched at the plate.
Combined with the Mets beginning to struggle again as a team, the questioning of Davis' future began to resurface.
"He's had a lot of people in his ear talking about his swing and talking about what he needs to get to do to get back to where he was, and some ways maybe this is another way to clear the deck and get to Vegas," Alderson said. "I think the first thing is he needs to get into a different environment, he needs to get his confidence back and he needs to hear fewer voices."
Alderson said there wasn't anything Davis could have done Sunday to stave off the demotion any longer.
Davis is heading to Las Vegas with two players who have also struggled.
Carson gave up a run in the Mets' 8-4 loss to Miami Sunday, swelling his ERA to 8.50. He appeared in 13 games this season, giving up 18 runs (17 earned) on 19 hits in 18 innings. Alderson said he was in the bullpen to take some pressure off fellow lefty Scott Rice, but he wasn't doing that.
Baxter was hitting .212 with no home runs, four RBIs and 20 strikeouts in 85 at-bats. He failed to get down a bunt in a key situation on Sunday, which is something that even Collins acknowledged as unusual.
"Mike Baxter's about as heads-up a player as there is on this team," Collins said. "So when he doesn't get a bunt down, it's pretty surprising."
The changes with the roster, though, aren't surprising.
The Mets' offense has been lackluster all season, and that's only intensified in the team's recent struggles. In their 20-inning, 2-1 loss to Miami on Saturday, New York was 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position.
Changes were inevitable. Three players have been sent down, and three have been called up. Whether or not there are more to follow remains to be seen.
Said Collins: "This is when you reach down inside and you find out who belongs here and who doesn't."
Chris Iseman and David Wilson are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.