In the bottom of the 8th inning in Friday night’s game vs. the Braves, Ike Davis struck out for the fourth time in the game while looking hopeless at the plate. Once again, Davis earned the dreaded “golden sombrero.” This was the third time this year Davis has earned that distinction. Last year, Davis accomplished that feat only once.
As he was heading back to the dugout, Davis looked like a love-crossed mope in a romance drama while staggering back to the bench in the cold as the heavy rain fell on his head. It truly painted a picture of a man so down on his luck.
With Davis now one for his last 40, the Mets only recourse these days is to finally demote him to Las Vegas. Unless Davis can, say, go 8-8 in his next two games, there is just no possible way Davis can stay up any longer and save face. The Mets, though, will likely wait until the end of the weekend before they finally pull the plug on Davis.
Once they do, hopefully Davis can find his confidence in Las Vegas and get back to just relaxing. Davis has to just take it day by day and not worry about all the questions facing him now. He simply is not as bad as he showing himself to be right now.
So, if Davis is demoted as as expected, where do the Mets turn to?
Well, it’s not like the Mets are going to get any great contribution from anyone else to fill in at first base. However, the Mets do have a few options though.
The Mets could slide either Daniel Murphy or Lucas Duda over to first, but with Davis expected back up eventually, there should be no reason to put either Murphy or Duda at a position on a temporary basis. Murphy and Duda need to remain comfortable (as Murphy actually already has) at where they are playing at now, as to not disrupt their rhythm.
Then there is John Buck and Justin Turner. Both of these players can play first base in a pinch, but they would show their shortcomings while trying to play there on an everyday basis. With no adequate catcher behind Buck (at least not until Travis d’Arnaud is ready) to make up for the production Buck will leave behind when he shifts to first, he doesn’t seem like a logical choice.
Turner is not a bad choice to start at first when facing lefties, but when facing righties, it would seem counterproductive to put Turner there on a regular basis.
The Mets could look to the minors, where they have two suitable replacements at their disposal in Zach Lutz and Josh Satin (both of whom are playing in Las Vegas). Satin is having the better season, posting a .298/.407/.482 slash line to go with team- leading seven home runs for the Las Vegas 51’s. Lutz, on the other hand is sporting a .278/.358/.424 slash line.
The thing is Lutz is on the 40-man roster, while Satin is not. If the Mets want to make the move with more upside then they should find a way to call up Satin and make the necessary corresponding move to do so. If not, perhaps they will go the safe route and recall Lutz. Both have had their cup of coffee with the team, so the transition should not be that daunting.
Another option the Mets could try is to move Andrew Brown to first base.
While Brown struggled in his time with the Mets earlier in the season, going 3-15, he has been too good for Las Vegas. Through 116 at-bats, Brown is batting .371 in Las Vegas while also sporting a sterling 1.097 OPS.
While the Mets have some decent options, demoting Davis will not automatically cure what ails this team. This is still a dysfunctional team from head to toe, and right now—as Ernie Palladino points out— Davis is being conveniently made the scapegoat.
Again, this should only be done to help Davis get his confidence back, as he is still viewed as one of the Mets’ centerpieces.
Hopefully, Ike gets his groove back in Las Vegas and comes back to Queens better than ever.