NEW YORK -- Fed up after getting swept by the Miami Marlins for a second straight weekend, the New York Mets demoted three players to Triple-A Las Vegas after Sunday's defeat: first baseman Ike Davis, outfielder Mike Baxter and left-handed reliever Robert Carson.
Davis, making $3.125 million and a staple at first base for the Mets since April 2010, was the highest-profile player demoted. Manager Terry Collins pinch hit for Davis, who is hitting .161 (30-for-186) with 66 strikeouts this season, on Sunday for the second straight game.
"At some point you just have to say to yourself this is not in his best interest," general manager Sandy Alderson said about Davis. "I was one of his biggest supporters. I just felt at some point we've got to get him out of here. Hopefully he'll be back in a short period of time. But he needs to go there. He needs to be able to play every day. He needs to be able to work on his swing without worrying necessarily about the outcome. We think it's in his best interest."
Alderson offered no indication that Collins and his staff are in any danger.
"This is not a staff issue," Alderson said. "This is a player issue."
Team captain David Wright, who successfully lobbied for Davis not to be demoted amid struggles last season, acknowledged after Sunday's loss that change was inevitable with the Mets (23-35) in free fall. Since sweeping the New York Yankees in four games, the Mets are 1-6.
"When you're struggling the way we're struggling, changes come -- whether you like it or not," Wright said. "That's the name of the game. I think what every player, what every front office, what every coach strives for is consistency. But you can't have consistency when you are a dozen or so games under .500."
Davis, through a team spokesman, declined to speak with reporters after receiving news of the demotion. Scouts have suggested Davis needs a radical change in batting approach, lessening his hand movement, yet Davis has resisted.
Asked if Davis and the Mets are on the same page with needed changes, Alderson said: "First and foremost, Ike needs to get his confidence back. He's had a lot of people in his ear talking about his swing and talking about what he needs to do to get back to where he was. In some ways, maybe this is another way to clear the deck, to get to Vegas. I don't know that there's any one mechanical thing that anybody is saying he needs to do."
Collins called a team meeting after Sunday's fundamentally lacking game.
Jordany Valdespin made the final out of the first inning attempting to steal third base. Baxter struck out on a sacrifice bunt attempt in the ninth to drop him into a 3-for-31 rut. Carson surrendered a home run in the 10th.
The Marlins are 8-3 against the Mets this season and 10-41 against the rest of baseball. After losing 2-1 in 20 innings Saturday, then 8-4 in 10 innings Sunday, the Mets matched a season low at 12 games under .500.
"It's tough to sit through 30 innings and score not even a handful of runs," Alderson said. "It's been frustrating for everybody. I'm sure it's frustrating for the fans, too. But we've got an off-day tomorrow and we've got to pick it up on Tuesday."
Asked if the Mets should be beating teams like the Marlins, Wright replied that teams undoubtedly are viewing the Mets as the team that should be steamrolled.
"You keep getting asked about the Marlins and teams you should beat," Wright said. "I think I said it the other day: Teams are probably looking at us that way, where you've got to come in here and beat us. So we can't look at any other team that way."