Ninety-nine problems… and Ike Davis ain’t one

Ike Davis played in 156 games for the Mets in 2012. He knocked 32 balls out over the fence, he drove in 90 base runners and he did all of this in the midst of a BAD season.  It was a bad season.  Davis hit .227 and had the worst year in his career.  We’ll look at how his numbers changed over the course of the year, analyze the splits and even try to surmise what COULD have been had Davis stayed healthy through all of 2011.  First let’s look at what caused a lot of his early season troubles, Valley Fever.

The Mayo Clinic:

“Valley fever is a fungal infection caused by coccidioides (kok-sid-e-OY-deze) organisms. It can cause fever, chest pain and coughing, among other signs and symptoms.

Two species of coccidioides fungi cause valley fever. These fungi are commonly found in the soil in specific areas and can be stirred into the air by anything that disrupts the soil, such as farming, construction and wind. The fungi can then be breathed into the lungs and cause valley fever, also known as acute coccidioidomycosis (kok-sid-e-oy-doh-my-KOH-sis).

Mild cases of valley fever usually resolve on their own. In more severe cases, doctors prescribe antifungal medications that can treat the underlying infection.”

I joked with a good friend, Jerry Pockets, about valley fever through the first part of the year.  It sounded like a made up bug that someone might use to explain a string of absences from work.  In reality, it is a severe condition that should have probably shelved Ike for the first part of the year.  Looking back it might have been better that the Mets should do that.

  • In April:                .185/.241/.309/.550 (3 HRs)
  • In May:                 .154/.214/.282/.496 (2 HRs)
  • In June:                .264/.363/.563/.926 (6 HRs)
  • In July:                  .221/.257/.537/.794 (9 HRs)
  • In August:           .287/.370/.517/.887 (5 HRs)
  • In September:   .242/.373/.527/.900 (7 HRs)

If I remove the first two months of the season: .252/.389/.536/.925 (27 HRs) and we are talking about Ike Davis’ grand future with the Mets.  Speaking of grand futures… remember Ike’s great start in 2011?

  • 2011:     36 Games, 149 PAs, 20 Runs, 39 Hits, 8 2Bs, 1 3Bs, 7 HRs, 25 RBIs, 17 BBs, 31 Ks
  • 2011:     156 Games, 584 Pas, 78 Runs, 153 Hits, 31 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 27 HRs, 98 RBIs, 67 BBs, 122 Ks (If Not For Injury)

The chances of Davis maintaining a .302/.383/.543/.925 for an entire year are slim but I’d actually only adjust the hits and walks down a little and the power perhaps up a peg.  Let’s face facts… Davis still looks like a star player and perhaps one of the offensive cornerstones of the team.  At 26 he’s actually YOUNGER than Lucas Duda.  Who would you be looking to deal?

20 comments for “Ninety-nine problems… and Ike Davis ain’t one

  1. October 13, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I think this misses the point of trading Davis.

    No one is suggesting that the Mets trade Ike because he isn’t good. We’re suggesting that he *is* good and is the player (along with Niese) who would fetch the most from another team in a trade.

    It would be wonderful if someone wanted to trade us a star RH-hitting OF for our scrubs. But that’s simply not going to happen. Generally, you have to give up something to get something and in our case – that may have to be Davis.

    Ideally, we would keep Davis and have him be with the team for a long time. But if we’ve learned anything about the Mets – it’s that these are not ideal times.

    • Metsense
      October 13, 2012 at 8:06 am

      Well said Brian. Ike Davis is not a “problem” he is a solution. He is the clean up batter or he is the player that gives us a corner OF who is a clean up batter. Duda is the weak link because his fielding diminishes his offensive numbers. The Mets strength is their starting pitching and if that is the direction the franchise is going then they better shore up their defense and settle for at least an average offensive player at each position. Right now they are lacking three outfielders and the funding to upgrade.

    • Dan Stack
      October 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm

      I couldn’t have said it any better Brian.
      We would be trading Ike because he is good and is showing signs of recovering.
      Again I ask, how do you upgrade the OF with legitimate players without giving up something of value?
      I’m all ears about hearing we could radically upgrade the OF without giving up a valuable asset-in this case Davis.
      I don’t think anyone here believes Davis is damaged goods. At least not me

    • 7rain
      October 13, 2012 at 10:00 pm

      Drastic measures may need to be taken but that depends on what the return on Ike might be.

      It makes sense that valley fever contributed to Ike’s bad start. Even just the diagnosis alone would set someone back on their heels but how can anyone say for sure that’s what it was? Looked to me that it was a lot of called strikes low and away (too much barking?) followed by swinging and missing at those off speed offerings.

      Ike’s poor year at home is inexplicable and I’m satisfied in just calling it a fluke but how about his results vs. LHP?

      2008 NY Penn League 65 AB’s .317/.369/.383, 4 2B’s 5 BB’s, 15 K’s.

      2009 Fl. St. League 53 AB’s .220/.264/.320, 2 2B’s, 1 HR, 3 BB’s, 15 K’s.

      2009 Eastern League 75 AB’s .269/.347/.433, 5 2B’s, 2 HR, 8 BB’s, 24 K’s.

      2010 Int’l League 9 AB’s .286/.444/.429, 1 2B, 2 BB’s, 2 K’s.

      2010 MLB 138 AB’s .295/.362/.443 9 2B, 3 HR, 14 BB’s, 36 K’s.

      2011 MLB 50 AB’s .163/.260/.233 1 2B, 1 3B, 5 BB’s, 18 K’s.

      2012 MLB 178 AB’s .174/.225/.335 3 2B, 8 HR, 11 BB’s, 50 K’s.

      When you look at the results of all 480 of Ike’s AB’s Vs.LHP as a professional a 3-1 K/BB rate looks pretty reasonable as a baseline. 25 2B’s, 14 HR’s in about twice the AB’s a full time everyday player would get against LHP isn’t a lot and the BA and OB% the last two years isn’t enough to carry light XBH’s Vs. LHP and is especially dangerous in that he would be too easy to counter in the late innings in key situations.

      A couple of points about 2010. Ike did improve his BA (and OB) beating the shift a number of times which helped his numbers to some extent (shift is moot now as pitchers are concentrating low and away) but he was also hitting in a RH (or switch) hitting dominated lineup. Barajas, Blanco, Bay, Wright, Francouer, Tejada and S/H Pagan, Reyes, Beltran and Castillo. 2011 he didn’t get many AB’s Vs. LHP so it’s hard to draw any conclusions from the effect of two LH hitters (Murphy and Thole) replacing Barjas and S/H Castillo but the extreme lefthandedness of this years lineup couldn’t have helped Ike any with even more LH hitters getting AB’s (Duda, Baxter, Kirk, Spin, at the expense of S/H Beltran and Pagan.

      The doubles against LHP throughout Ike’s professional career with the exception of 2010 when he was at times the only LH hitter in the lineup are very light and while it would certainly appear that hammering mistakes is a strength of Ike’s those get less and less the farther we get into the post season which is the goal.

      LHP Ike’s Homered against in his career to date are Jonathon Sanchez and James Russell twice each, Hamels, Gio, Buerle, leblanc, Petite, Mike Gonzalez, JP Howell. Not a bad list once you get past the first two but of the LHP he has homered against he has just 2 other XBH’s, Gio a double, Gorzelanny a 3B in 56 other AB’s That to me says that Ike is always going to need to hit in a RH dominated lineup or have a platoon mate and on a whole team of players that need platoon help it just might be worth seeing if he could get us that catcher RFer or both.

      • Name
        October 13, 2012 at 11:07 pm

        I remember something that Brian mentioned about Ike and it was his inability to do anything once he got to 0-2. He was pretty much an automatic swinging strikeout machine at that point. Brian even came up with a plan for Ike to take in that situation no matter what because pitchers would just throw it out the zone and Ike would chase.
        He desperately needs to fix this issue.

    • Chris F
      October 14, 2012 at 10:30 am

      That’s exactly it Brian. Like Metsense said, I couldn’t have said it better.
      Chris

      • Chris F
        October 14, 2012 at 10:31 am

        Oops, I meant Dan, but both really!

    • David Groveman
      October 15, 2012 at 9:00 am

      To explain: Wasn’t saying that the Mets shouldn’t trade Davis, but what I was starting to feel was a sense that Met fans were willing to take far too little back if they were to trade him.

  2. October 13, 2012 at 7:05 am

    David you just hit a home run! Can you imagine if Ike had Scott Hairston hitting behind him all season? Ike hits home runs no matter who hits behind him.He has a natural home run swing that can’t be taught. Hey Brian it’s painful enough to watch the Mets knowing we’re going to have to take our lumps. But defensively Ike is so much better than Lucas. Let’s focus trying to upgrade the outfield and catching position. You want a trade? Trade Wheeler, Niese, Duda and Murphy for King Felix. Have R.A. as your number 1 starter put Hernandez at 2. Can you imagine opposing teams facing Felix after trying to hit knuckle balls the day before? Drop Johan to 3 and take the pressure of him. Harvey and Gee fill out your starters at 4 and 5.

    • David Groveman
      October 15, 2012 at 9:01 am

      Thanks Pete

      Not sure I can get behind your King Felix trade… or starting Felix as the #2 pitcher

  3. October 13, 2012 at 7:08 am

    David you just hit a home run!He has a natural home run swing that can’t be taught. Hey Brian it’s painful enough to watch the Mets knowing we’re going to have to take our lumps. Let’s focus trying to upgrade the outfield and catching position. You want a trade? Trade Wheeler, Niese, Duda and Murphy for King Felix. Have R.A. as your number 1 starter put Hernandez at 2. Can you imagine opposing teams facing Felix after trying to hit knuckle balls the day before? Drop Johan to 3 and take the pressure of him. Harvey and Gee fill out your starters at 4 and 5. And yes I know Hernandez makes 20 million but it solidifies the starting rotation.

  4. October 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Healthy, Ike may be a 40+ home run hitting first baseman for many years to come. In reading about Valley Fever, the symptoms of malaise and fatigue linger for months, much like mono.

    The month to month stats do well to show what Ike himself said in September, how he was “finally feeling strong” as the season came to an end.

    With a winter of good living, nutrition, working out, he is set to have a great 2013 and may be considered a real cornerstone of the 2013-2014 NY Mets resurgence.

  5. edd
    October 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

    leave the infield alone, deal from your excess..pitching, right hand power bat for the outfield and a catcher.

  6. Name
    October 13, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Ironically, when Davis was at his worst, the Mets were at their best. That was pretty much the only thing that kept him from being sent down during the year(which i still think they should have done in early May).
    One thing that bothers me is his extreme home/road splits. Almost a .100 point difference in BA and he only hit 1/3 of his HR’s at Citi. i remember at one point he was hitting sub-.100 at Citi.
    I wouldn’t trade Davis right now simply because i think his value is too low. Bad/Slow starts remain in people’s mind more than great finishes.

  7. TJ
    October 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Dave,
    Love the power, love the glove, don’t care how late he stays up. Only issue, and it is significant, is that Ike needs to hit lefties in order to occupy a 3-4-5 spot in the batting order.

  8. Charles
    October 13, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Hey David,

    Nice post, I agree. The thought of trading Ike, as opposed to packaging a few prospects, hurts my brain. First rounders rarely succeed for the Mets, the success rate has been bad. The Mets had three first rounders from that draft when you include Alan Dykstra and only Ike is flourishing. The thought of Lucas stepping in to Ike’s role is vomit inducing, but Duda and Dykstra both buy into the organizations philosophy of patience at the plate more then Davis. It would be hard to swallow, but it seems like their most logical move unless either Wright or Dickey don’t sign extensions.

    Hopefully, a deal involving Ike brings back at least two good to great outfield prospects. Thankfully, Alderson has stated he wouldn’t trade Ike unless he knew where Ike’s 32 homers would be replaced in the lineup. I think they’ll try to get two outfield prospects who are both ready and able to produce around 15-20 homers. I think they expect that and moving Duda to first would easily make the team better. I happen to think Davis is going to hit 35-45 homers regularly and would be upset to watch him do that in another uniform. Personally, I’d be more inclined to see them trade Dickey away and improved the outfield that way. Maybe even David if they can’t come to terms with him on a reasonable contract. I am not for trading young talent by any means, when a team must operate at 100 million dollar payroll.

    The way they have been talking up Duda, I’d expect a trade though and hope for the best.

  9. Doug
    October 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    I dont really understand why The Mets would consider trading Davis . Lets not forget Davis was out most of last year , can we give the man a little time to adjust to hitting the best pitching in the universe ?Not that 32 hrs and 90 ribbys is a bad thing and consider His team coming to His defense while mired in a horrible slump. Sorry Im not a believer in Duda . I feel if the Mets sign Wright we have the corners covered , lets move onto how we can inprove the outfield and pen . Davis is a keeper who will only get better we can wait at least 1 more season to find out

  10. Dave
    October 14, 2012 at 3:31 am

    I do not believe Davis should be traded, period…..I think he is still too valuable to this team.

  11. Charles
    October 14, 2012 at 11:26 am

    The problem is that this team has a organizational theory about how to go about an at bat. While perfect, in theory, it’s probably the hardest to teach or succeed with. “Be patiently aggressive”…Don’t swing at balls, only swing at strikes. Sounds so easy you’d think everyone could do it, right? Well, how many 2-0 & 3-1 fastballs right down the middle, with runners on base, did this team watch go right into the catchers mitt? Bobby O yelled about it all year!!! These knuckle heads constantly trying to work a walk in hitters counts instead of being at their most aggressive. Then, when the seasons dead, Sandys in the booth saying the second half went in the shitter because they lost their approach after the all star break. Sorry, but Ike only started to go with what worked for Him after that miserable first half.

    This front office thinks they can do no wrong. While I understand they are in a bad situation caused by a low payroll, I don’t think that “approach” is going to make up for it. Duda has fallen in line and they like that. They’re hoping he miraculously becomes the patient slugger his power and approach suggests he could be. I see a deer in the headlights. Watch him crash after the first ten questions by the NY media about how he has replaced a fan favorite. This guy doesn’t have the juice to handle that pressure. Trading Ike= Big Mistake!!!

    • October 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Charles I couldn’t agree more. Let’s keep Ike please! As for the organizational theories on hitting? Is the Met offense something we should be bragging about? Patiently aggressive? Is the organization kidding? Ike batting cleanup and with 50 less plate appearances drew more walks(61)than Daniel Murphy(36) who is supposed to be the poster boy for the team on how to approach hitting in the major leagues. Mind you Daniel had David Wright hitting behind him.Other than Scott Hairston hitting behind him,Ike had a group of no-names hitting behind him.

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