Ike: 'Going to be awesome' playing for Yanks

June 15th, 2016

DENVER -- The Yankees have not had much success of late keeping their first basemen off the disabled list, a place where Ike Davis has spent plenty of time in the last few seasons. Both the club and Davis are hoping that trend is about to turn around.

Davis joined the Yankees on Tuesday after finalizing a one-year, $1.5 million deal with New York, making his big league return following arthroscopic surgery that repaired a torn labrum and ended his 2015 campaign. Davis said that he also tore a ligament in his right knee this spring, while in camp with the Rangers.

"It's been a long but pretty-rewarding road, so far as just getting healthy and making it back to the big leagues," Davis said. "That's really all I can say is, it's just awesome."

Davis, 29, is expected to be part of a platoon at first base with Rob Refsnyder, who will continue to start against left-handed pitching. Davis made his Yankees debut as a pinch-hitter in Tuesday's series opener, knocking an RBI single in the eighth inning of the New York's 13-10 loss to the Rockies.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he plans to start Davis at first base on Wednesday against Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis.

"Obviously he understands the position," Girardi said. "He's a left-handed bat for us. Ike has played in New York, so he understands that part of it. It was someone that we were also interested in before in the offseason, so hopefully it's a good fit."

Davis will become the seventh Yankee to see time at first base this season, with Mark Teixeira, Dustin Ackley and Chris Parmelee all on the disabled list. In addition to Refsnyder, Austin Romine and Brian McCann have also had reps at the position, while Greg Bird is out for the season.

Though the Yankees offered Davis a Minor League contract this past offseason, he said that he chose to sign with the Rangers because they train in Arizona, close to where he was rehabbing. Davis added that did not feel ready to come into Spring Training and compete for a job, saying, "It would have just been a waste of time for everybody."

"I wasn't moving very well. I didn't want to have a bad start," Davis said. "I just wanted to stay there and just play and see what happens. Finally after about a month, I really started feeling like I could play again. I think it worked out for the best."

Davis was hitting .268 with four homers and 25 RBIs in 39 games at Triple-A Round Rock before being released from his contract last week. His father, Ron, made 144 relief appearances for the Yankees from 1978-81, and Ike Davis enjoyed some success across town as a member of the Mets from 2010-14. Ike Davis also played for the Pirates and A's.

"Thinking back, besides the year in Pittsburgh (2014) when we made it to the playoffs, I had my best seasons living and enjoying playing in New York," Ike Davis said. "I'm excited to come back. This organization, you really can't say enough about it. It's going to be awesome."