Mets make the right move in sending down Carson & Davis

By now you have most likely heard the news that the Mets plan to demote Mike Baxter, Robert Carson and Ike Davis, with an official announcement coming Monday morning. If it took being embarrassed by the last-place Marlins for these very necessary steps to happen then that seems like a small price to pay to make the team better. Carson should never have been on the roster in the first place and Davis should have been sent down at the end of April.

It was a strange combination of stubbornness and wishful thinking that kept Carson and Davis on the roster this long. It’s hard to divvy up the responsibility between Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson but ultimately the blame has to fall on the GM for these counterproductive players being kept in the majors. It is fine for the manager to show loyalty to his players but at some point the general manager has to say that they are simply not performing to major league standards.

Carson leaves with an 8.50 ERA with 8 HR in 18 IP. That’s the third-worst ERA for any reliever in the majors with at least 15 IP. Davis leaves with a .500 OPS with 66 Ks in 186 ABs. Davis was in a neck-and-neck race with Jeff Keppinger for the worst OPS among full-time players, a fact made worse by the knowledge that Keppinger is a second baseman.

Getting rid of these players is not going to magically transform the Mets into playoff contenders. But hopefully it’s a sign that this is rock bottom and that sub-par results will no longer be tolerated just because you were counted on for a big year, like Davis, or were a pet project of the manager, like the lefty-throwing Carson.

Results matter to those of us who follow and live and die with the team on a daily basis. We had no illusions of a World Series title in 2013 but we did have expectations of competitive baseball. And an 8.50 ERA and a .500 OPS fell well short of those modest expectations.

The bottom line is that we were sick of the excuses and the rationale for these types of poor performance. Are Carson and Davis the fall guys – in some sense, yes. But in the grand scheme of things, they were problems that needed to be dealt with and action was needed long before now.

Carson needs to spend the rest of the year in Triple-A, trying to find success in a larger sample than 16 IP. That doesn’t seem like a huge hurdle to clear yet it’s something that Carson hasn’t done since he was in A-ball in 2009. As for Davis, hopefully he goes to the minors and hits the cover off the ball. If three weeks from now he has a 1.000 OPS then we would welcome him back with open arms.

With Davis, my desire was never to bury him or give up on him. Rather it was an attempt to try something else to get through to him. Playing in the major leagues was not making things any better. Maybe a trip to the minors is what he needs. Maybe it’s extended Spring Training. Perhaps it’s two weeks on a deserted island. Whatever Davis needs, the Mets should try to give it to him. It is unfortunate that whatever the secret to get him untracked this year is wasn’t happening at the major league level.

And for those who think that Davis was on the verge of breaking out, take another look at what he’s done recently. Starting with his two-hit game against the Braves (where one of the hits was a gift from the official scorer), Davis was 8-for-37, for a .216 AVG. And this came while being protected from facing too many southpaws.

Now the speculation turns to who replaces them. Hopefully the Mets move Lucas Duda to first base. Duda gets an “A” for his willingness to attempt to play the OF but he’s simply not an MLB-quality outfielder, no matter how much they tried to pretend otherwise the past few years. If the Mets move Duda to first base, then they get a free pass from me on who they call up. Either way, we find out Monday who gets the call to Flushing.

Throughout this piece, there’s been almost no mention of Baxter. But he was not getting the job done, either. Sure, he will always have a special place in Mets’ fans heart for his fearlessness in running into the wall to preserve the team’s first no-hitter. But this is the time for accountability and Baxter needs to be treated the same as anyone else on the team.

The bottom line is that while today was another horrific loss to the lowly Marlins, it was still a good day because management finally took some steps towards making the major league team better. And may this newfound accountability continue as we go forward, with no sacred cows in either the dugout or the front office.

40 comments for “Mets make the right move in sending down Carson & Davis

  1. June 9, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    Adam Rubin says it’s Cowgill, Edgin and Satin getting the call.

  2. Steve Rogers
    June 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Had to be done. But a little concerned that they are replaced by dreck. As opposed to bringing up a couple of guys who are considered prospects. I mean if things are bad, why not give some of the future hopefuls a chance to see what they’ve got while Davis rights himself.

  3. za
    June 9, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Do we know who is getting called up? If Alderson has the balls to do what the Marlins did with the Ozuna call-up, they should move Duda to 1st and call up Puello, who in addition to absolutely crushing the ball is on the 40-man unlike Josh Satin.

    • Chris F
      June 9, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      With Puello neck deep in Biogenesis, he’s completely radioactive. He will never be promoted until this is settled one way or another.

  4. steevy
    June 9, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    Half way there,now fire Terry Collins.

  5. Chris F
    June 9, 2013 at 9:25 pm

    This is shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic. Promoting 2 failures is hardly a recipe for making things right. Sandy’s comment that this is about players and not coaching shows the depth to which denial runs in the FO. This move, ANY move, is a day late and a dollar short. I have no faith in the FO at all or the coaching staff.

    I’m done with Davis. At 26, he should have already “figured it out.” I dont care how hard he works, or what a great teammate he is: those matter only if a person can play in the MLB. I dont think he can. If Ike’s issues can be fixed in a few weeks in LV, then why wasnt this done ages ago? If its coaching to improve his plate presence, then what makes anyone think a minor league hitting coach can do more than Hudgens, and if someone can, why is Hudgens in Flushing? More likely he will need to spend some real time fixing the glaring problems that even fans that have never played college let alone pro ball can see. Unlearning a lifetime of bad behavior will not come easily or quickly. If he returns at 27 to begin re-figuring out MLB-level pitching, when will the “project” face a merciful end? We will need to sink a fortune into him with arbitration (I guess?).

    While everyone can applaud Sandy taking some action, this is the classic something that is actually nothing…it fits Alderson’s wait and see conservatism to a T. Kansas City was in the same boat a couple weeks ago. They brought in a 3000 hit Hall of Famer to take over the hitting coaching…and BAM, under George Brett, the Royals are 6-3. Instead of actually addressing the root causes, Alderson has opted for a band-aid, and it CAN’T have any genuine effect.

    The action tonight feeds the media, and gives them cover to say “we’re holding accountability” on this team. But this is not fooling anyone who can see that the problems are much more serious. Edgin left Flushing with 9 IP and a 9.6 ERA and a 1.8 WHIP. Cowgill was batting an “Ike like” .157 at the time of being sent down. Sure, it was after 19 games, but still.

    The Denial Train passing through Queens has many cars on loopty-doo tracks. Who’s on first? What? What’s on Second…

    • Metsense
      June 9, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      Everyone of your points are valid.
      Edgin for carson is window dressing until Wheeler comes up.
      Satin is the new firstbaseman, or is TC going to play Turner over him? Sandy says it’s Satin.
      It is a grand plan to play Duda in LF where his defence erodes his WAR value. This is a very stubborn front office in denial.
      Baxter for Cowgill I can live with but why leave Andrew Brown behind? They should have shipped out Valdespin also.
      I hope they don’t bring any of the three back until they put up solid AAA numbers for a one month period.
      This is a last opportunity for Satin and Cowgill so they better cash in.
      If things don’t improve then maybe the next shake up will be on the coaching staff.
      Sandy still needs to explain why we entered the season with no legitimate OF or should the Wilpon’s explain that they didn’t have the money for Sandy to spend. Someone is at fault there.

  6. Jerry TGrote
    June 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Pretty much agree with Chris F here … you have to start with the hitting coach, and with the manager.

    The damning decision here is not moving Duda out from the OF. We’ll continue to make every fly ball to LF an extra heartbeat, because we can’t make a decision. We can’t make the decision about Collins, about Hudgens, about Davis. Bringing up the best OFer out there and move Duda to his natural position, we couldn’t do that simple thing?

    Edgin, Cowgill and Satin is a tad shy of 7th Cavalry coming to Flushing. You aren’t even bringing up the best players at every position they represent in the minor leagues.

    To say its disappointing is … I just don’t understand the thinking here.

    • Chris F
      June 9, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Exactly! The basic maneuvering seems impossible for this FO. I heard this gem this from ex Reds/Nats GM Jim Bowden the other day (seems like a FO guy covering for another FO guy): Alderson deserves credit for not actually playing to win, but to throw in scrubs in order to place better for the ’14 draft. I’ll tell ya, if that is the plan, then say so. More people will buy some honesty. It would also give plenty of opportunity to test drive the kids in the Show. Furthermore, if that is the plan, then we dont want Wheeler or any other impressionable people to witness the fraud. Fortunately Harvey seems to be a real adult here, and impervious to Sandy’s hatchet job, but other kids may not.

      Anyway, Im sick of the Alderson administration, and the string of poor decisions on top of poor decisions as a hallmark.

  7. June 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I’m happy that Cowgill is coming back up. He did not get enough of an opportunity his first go-round. He’s 27 years old and if he hits like he’s capable of, he’s got a chance to be part of the next Mets team to make the playoffs.

    In 880 career PA at Triple-A, Cowgill has a .307/.380/.476 line. Now that’s been put up in the PCL so a good deal of air needs to be removed. Still, would it be a huge surprise if he was able to put up a .750 OPS in the majors?

    Currently, the NL OF averages are this:

    LF – .782 OPS
    CF – .717 OPS
    RF – .757 OPS

    CF for the Mets have put up a .571 OPS this year. If they could upgrade from that to .750, I would consider that a very good thing. Of course, it’s no given that Cowgill can produce that but for Pete’s sake, let’s use the rest of the year to find out. And that means playing him the majority of the time, not only against LHP. I’d like to see Cowgill play full time and rotate Byrd, Lagares and Nieuwenhuis in the other two positions. Duda moves to first base and Valdespin is a PH.

  8. Name
    June 9, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Cmon Brian, you’re giving Sandy too much credit here. The real title should be “Mets make the LONG OVERDUE move in BANISHING Carson and Davis”.
    Meanwhile, Sandy manages to do mind-boggling transactions. Cowgill for Baxter? Makes no sense to me at all. If you wanted to demote an OF, it should have been either JV or Lagares. I don’t understand the fascination with JV; can’t really play a position and too inconsistent in hitting. But people will say, “He’s our best Pinch Hitter!” WRONG. He is hitting .130 with 1 HR pinch hitting while Baxter hits .400. And if Duda doesn’t move to 1b, this doesn’t solve our surplus of OF’s.

    And when is TC going to go away? I seriously wouldn’t mind a 10-game losing streak if it means Sandy will finally have the guts to fire that craphole.

    • Jerry TGrote
      June 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm

      Just to repeat … Alderson has said that it’s not coaches, it’s the players.

      I don’t know that a 10 game losing streak is going to be enough. But if that’s what it takes …

      • Name
        June 10, 2013 at 12:01 am

        This is the same guy who waited 60 games to demote Ike and continues to hold 6 OF’s on the roster. Yes, He clearly knows what is and isn’t the problem on this team is

  9. Jerry TGrote
    June 9, 2013 at 10:23 pm

    This team is so fried, its ridiculous. Sandy Alderson is on record today as saying the problem isn’t the coaching, it’s the players. For real Sandy?

    As regards Cowgill, he’s not even the best hitting OFer at AAA. He’s coming off of a 1-20 funk. Meanwhile, Brown has been on base in five of his 10 ABs since coming off the DL. Puello is a better option, but I’ll grant that his Biogenesis troubles need clean up.

    Cowgill plays CF. You should be giving the shot to Lagares right now; why not bring up Brown to play LF, move Duda to 1B and play the best players/hitters at each of their positions?

    F*cked up.

    And for those keeping track, Leathersich struck out two more batters in a win today, giving him 15 IP and 32 Ks since the end of April. Josh Edgin has been pitching like crap.

    • June 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm

      I don’t see why Lagares should play over Cowgill. My guess is that Lagares is a 4th OF and Cowgill has a chance to be a starting CF.

      Cowgill over Brown makes sense to me because Cowgill can play CF and Brown can’t. And in Cowgill’s last 10 PA, he’s been on base five times, too. In his last 10 games he has a .297/.409/.432 line.

      Leathersich not being on the 40-man is what’s keeping him down. And the Edgin move is likely only temporary, as he’s still the leading candidate to go down if/when Wheeler gets promoted.

      • Chris F
        June 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm

        Im all in favor of giving Lagares a real look. Cowgill, IMO, will never be a contender for a permanent position. He’s made grievous fielding errors, (thus far) inconsistent at the plate, and, I believe, is simply too short at 5′ 9″ to be a star OF (please dont go Kirby Puckett on me, Cowgill is no KP). Lagares is ticking up with the bat, made a couple clutch hits, and been fielding CF better than anyone we’ve yet put out there. He may not be perfectly ready, but Id let him audition seriously at this point. Our other options are clearly worse to these eyes. I cant see why you’d think Lagares doesnt profile to start based on the limited data set. (I realize the same might be true for Cowgill except he’s 3 years older).

        • Name
          June 10, 2013 at 12:08 am

          Yea… Lagares hasn’t really been hitting. He’s gotten a few bunts and bloops that have gone his way. He still has no plate or bat discipline in my opinion.

      • Jerry Grote
        June 9, 2013 at 11:10 pm

        The question here, to me, is the offense of the NY Mets. Cowgill doesn’t represent a significant upgrade over Lagares, and he is a significant decrease over Brown. Lagares is beginning to put a stranglehold on the CF position … one he might not ever surrender.

        If you believe as I do that Duda belongs at 1B, then you need a LF. That should be Brown, who is the better hitter this year and for several years.

        The problem, of course, is that nobody in our organization sees Duda has a liability that needs replacing in LF. Not if you are bringing up Josh Satin.

        • June 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm

          Lagares’ most significant playing time has come at Double-A, where in 717 PA he has a .766 OPS. I think that’s clearly inferior to what Cowgill has done. When he was in the Southern League, Cowgill had an .825 OPS.

          • Jerry Grote
            June 10, 2013 at 12:54 pm

            “Clearly inferior”? Be serious … that’s a joke and you know it.

            Cowgill put those numbers up when he was 24 … the same age Lagares is *today*. Get age appropriate. Cowgill in Nevada, with several years on Lagares, is over 100 points less in OPS from what I see at BR.

            Lagares, more to the point, has shown some projectability. He’s a solidly built 6-1 guy with a bit of power and can clearly ball in the field.

            • June 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm

              I am serious

              Lagares Age 23 Double-A: 547 PA, .337 BABIP, .723 OPS
              Cowgill Age 24 Double-A: 577 PA, .300 BABIP, .824 OPS

              I’m not dismissing a 100-point OPS edge due to one year in age. Cowgill hasn’t been given a real chance in the majors but in the minors he’s displayed the ability to hit for average, get on base and hit for solid power. He also will steal double digits.

              Lagares has shown a couple of impressive partial seasons, thanks in part to BABIPs that he’s not going to duplicate in the majors. His career high for HR in a season is 9.

              If they both got 500 PA in the majors in 2014, Cowgill would out-OPS him by at least 50 points.

  10. Chris F
    June 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Leathersich in Flushing 2013!!!!!!

  11. blastingzone
    June 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    I was waiting for the big shake up and what we got was two retreads! Cowgill and Edgin?
    SA what are you kidding me? Satin is fine with me for right now but the other two makes me
    sick! Neither Cowgill or Edgin were putting up great #’s in AAA so why bring them back?
    I was praying for Leathersich and a surprise like Brown instead of Cowgill who’s having
    a better year in AAA than Cowgill and Leathersich who is blowing away Edgin this year!
    SA is afraid to take a gamble and that’s why the mets will lose 100 games this year and
    even though we have Harvey and Wheeler coming next week if the mets have no offense they will
    still lose but it will be fun anyway to watch them pitch!!

  12. Metsense
    June 9, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Rotate Cowgill, Nieuwenhuis, Lagares and Byrd in OF. There up, so play them.
    Duda/Satin platoon, and use Satin for an occasional rest for Wright.
    Duda in OF just messes up the playing time and defense in the OF.
    I know Byrd is not the future but he is the only one who has produced in the OF and should not be benched at this point.
    Duda may be the future 1B so let’s give him a chance.

  13. June 9, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    And what if Duda continues to struggle with his batting average playing first base? What happens at the All-Star break? This team is in need of a complete overhaul. How much better would this team had been with Scot Hairston in left and Michael Bourn in center? There is no need to rush Wheeler up. For what? No offense. Hard to imagine going 0 for 19 with runners in scoring position. The team needs a wake up call. Something much more drastic then sending Ike down(long overdue). Since 2013 is a lost season, why not bring up some of the kids to play the outfield(can’t do any worse) and see if they can revitalize and salvage the Mets lost season.

  14. Art
    June 10, 2013 at 6:07 am

    i think decisions that were made in mid-June that should have been made at the beginning of May are evidence of a front office problem. FO are a bunch of smart people, so you can’t say they weren’t aware. The trajectory of this team is intentional, but the information they give to the public is misleading. My question then is,”Who is looking out for the best interest of the New York Mets?”. This is a bad situation and the “plan” is not the solution.
    As for players, if Wheeler comes up, that won’t make the team hit better. The bullpen will be happy to serve up late inning runs. If Duda hits and runs the wrong way on fly balls, you lose more runs than you produce.
    I stand by an earlier comment that FO put a competitive team on the field or stop supporting the team. Enough is enough.

  15. Chris F
    June 10, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Lets look this half-arsed supposed bloodletting over with a little more than JV histrionics. Wow, Sandy stepped up and shook the tree, moving 20% of the roster in a couple days!! That takes a ton of courage, right? But who exactly is down and out? Ankiel, McHugh, Baxter, Carson, and “strIKE” Davis. Exactly how much courage does it take to DFA Ankiel, a 1-month failed experiment? McHugh, an injury call-up who made 1 start? Baxter, a weak hitting pinch hitter? And Carson, a reliever who can only be trusted to go in with a 5+ run lead, knowing he will surrender at least 1 HR every inning he’s on the hill. Courage, you call that courage? You call that a shot across the bow? These were all changes that were gonna be made anyway, but pooling them together under the guise of being a leader is pure Disneyesque fantasy. Ok, well that leaves our power-hitting first baseman, the only regular starter in the quintuplet of minor-leaguers to be relegated, as the hallmark of this dumping. But Ike was on the way out too.

    An assessment of the replacements pretty much shows this exchange is pretty much AAA for AAA, no winning can be expected. Satin is the only name that can catch the eye as a refreshing shot at catching lightning in a bottle—but why not move Duda to 1B instead? Alderson needs to forget the imprisonment of pretending there is a team for 2013. With quite a few games left, it’s time to bring up as many of our young prospects and give them genuine auditions in their proper positions. Move Duda to 1B, the only position he can possibly be ok on defense at. Dump Valdespin. Let Lagares and Kirk take real tries at CF. Call up Brown. Can Flores man SS? And fire the coaching staff for crissakes…they have failed.

  16. Chris F
    June 10, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    Ike & Co. have already shown up on the 51s web page. None have uni numbers. d’Arnaud wears 29 in LV. Looks like the long road to non-tendering for strIKE begins under the big bright neon lights of “Lost Wages”. Is he headed down the path of Pelf last year? Unless radical changes are afoot, I certainly hope so.

    • Name
      June 10, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      It’s going to be a real tough issue on whether the Mets tender a contract to Ike for next season. Only player i can remember in recently who has just lost it, and not due to injuries, is Tim Lincecum. But luckily he signed a 2 year deal before he fell off a cliff while Ike has pretty much only this year’s money to rely on.

  17. Name
    June 10, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    HMMMMMM. Murphy to 1st base instead of Duda. Real smart manager we have here. Take the guy who’s actually playing well at his position and shifting him when you have a guy stumbling in the OF. Why don’t we move Wright to short, Buck to 3rd, and Byrd can catch while we are at it!

    • Chris F
      June 10, 2013 at 3:55 pm


    • Jerry Grote
      June 10, 2013 at 4:05 pm


      I thought Collins has all but completely ruled out Murphy to 1st. That move would be the single stupidest thing since … trading Tom Seaver. Honestly, I couldn’t think of more ridiculous idea.

  18. Chris F
    June 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    You can listen to the interview on line. Google Mike Francesa and go to the CBS/FAN web site. You can find the link there. Murph to 1B so JV can audition at 2B.

    • Metsense
      June 10, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      It took 2 years to get Murphy to be a top 5 second baseman. A definate plus player at the position. Duda has a 0.1 WAR but take away his large negative fielding and he fits in as an average NL first baseman. Satin as the platoon even better. Two positions somewhat repaired. Three if they fire TC.
      If they are moving Murphy off second then why the heck not bring up Flores?(he is too slow to try and steal second with two outs. Another problem resolved)

      • Metsense
        June 10, 2013 at 5:03 pm

        “steal third” (edit)

      • Jerry Grote
        June 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm


        If you are going to play Murphy at 1B, it makes no sense to bring up Satin.

    • Jerry Grote
      June 10, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Oh the humanity.

      Let’s get weaker at 2B AND 1B AND not resolve the LF position. Perhaps Harvey can pull an old Satchel Paige trick … where he calls 7 players in from the field to face a batter.

      I’m a big fan of SA, but he’s turning my stomach. What am I missing here?

      • steevy
        June 10, 2013 at 5:56 pm

        You guys serious?TC AND Alderson need to go.

      • Name
        June 10, 2013 at 9:13 pm

        I would think that playing the positions would probably be in TC’s realm. If he wasn’t the one making these types of these decisions you might as well just fire him anyways.

  19. June 10, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Is is arrogance or stupidity? I don’t understand how after trying to find Murphy a position they decide to move him and start all over again. Who is making these decisions for this team? I can imagine what must be going through David Wright’s mind right now. Just when you think the Mets are finally taking appropriate steps in improving they manage to screw that up as well.

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