MILWAUKEE -- It was as if he never left. Ike Davis sauntered into Miller Park's visiting clubhouse just before 4 p.m. CT Friday, hugging teammates and yelling, "Shalom, everybody!" He stopped in the manager's office for a brief chat with Terry Collins, before attempting to explain how he changed over four weeks in the Minors.
Davis may have tweaked his swing at Triple-A Las Vegas, but he did not overhaul it.
"It's not like I'm standing on my head," the first baseman quipped, noting that his signature hitch remains.
But the Mets are confident Davis did enough to morph back into the cleanup hitter they have long been relying on him to be. That is why they recalled him from Las Vegas on Friday, optioning relief pitcher Gonzalez Germen.
"He's quieted himself down," Collins said of Davis, who hit .293 with seven home runs in 75 Minor League at-bats. "That was the main thing. He went down there to work on a couple things so he can get his swing right, and from I've been told it's quieter, more efficient. He feels good about it, so we'll take a look."
Collins and the Mets will take a look right away, slotting Davis at cleanup for Friday's game against the Brewers. With a string of four consecutive right-handed pitchers on the schedule, Davis should receive plenty of early chances to prove he is a changed player.
The byproduct of the move is that hot-hitting Josh Satin will head back to the bench. Coming into Friday's play with a 10-game hitting streak and a 15-game on-base streak, Satin may find most of his future playing time at first base against left-handers, at second or third in a pinch, or even in left field, where he played two games earlier this year at Las Vegas.
But Satin's .375 average over his last 10 games -- not to mention seven extra-base hits in his last seven contests -- were not enough to keep him in the everyday lineup.
"With his swing, he's one of those guys who is more dangerous when he gets more at-bats," Collins said. "So we're going to try to maximize the opportunities for him."
As much as Collins would like to keep Satin's bat in the lineup, however, Davis boasts a more significant presence in the Mets' long-term blueprint. A former first-round pick, Davis recovered from a massive first-half slump last year -- narrowly avoiding a Minor League demotion then -- to hit 20 home runs after the All-Star break.
The Mets hope Davis' month in the desert will allow him once again to unlock that dormant potential.
"It's not like I was mad at them for sending me down," Davis said. "It was my fault. I can't blame anyone else but myself.
"I went down and feel like I improved my swing. I feel like I got back to a place where I can start hitting consistently, versus in an inconsistent way. It might not be the first three games, but over a long period of time, if I keep doing what I was working on, I'll have success."