The hypothesis derives from elementary logic: Spring training and the ensuing first half of the regular season last year were so catastrophic for Mets first baseman Ike Davis that improvement this season is the only plausible outcome. A return after nine months of baseball inactivity due to a broken ankle in 2011 then delayed by a case of valley fever can do that to a baseball player.

Thus far, the rationale is sensible. Davis, 25, is healthy this spring and the numbers provide the evidence. He’s hitting .357 in 33 plate appearances over 11 games. His on-base-plus-slugging percentage sits at .990. His defensive range at first base is again expansive.

"I feel better. I’m not so drained," Davis said before going 0-for-3 in the Mets’ 9-1 loss to the Tigers Thursday. "My bat speed’s somewhat there. I’m definitely playing better than I did last year at this time. I feel more comfortable and healthy."

Last spring, he hit .237 and had four home runs in
59 at-bats.

The year before he accumulated a .273 average in 55 spring training at-bats before he broke his ankle in May with his average at .302.

Ultimately, spring training numbers are trivial, but as it stands, Davis figures to easily supplant the horrific start he labored through last season. However, as he was quick to point out, Opening Day is still weeks away and he, of all players, is especially cognizant of baseball’s unpredictability.