Why not platoon Ike Davis and Josh Satin?

I wrote an article a few months ago suggesting that Terry Collins should take a page out of the Oakland Athletics’ playbook and start to utilize more platoons in his everyday lineup.

It was for this reason that I was excited when Ike Davis was recalled from Las Vegas and Josh Satin remained with the team.  Davis’ career .253/.346/.468 line against righties and Satin’s .417/.500/.625 line against lefties this year, while unsustainable, would play very nicely with each other and gave the Mets potential for very good production.

They also both have experienced drop offs in their production while facing pitchers of the same handedness, with Davis’ wOBA dropping 78 points and Satin’s dipping 74 points.

Surely a Davis-Satin platoon at first was warranted, especially since Satin has absolutely earned the right to playing time with his stellar performance since his call up.

Then on Sunday morning, Collins spoke to the media and said that Davis and Satin would definitely not be a platoon.

Not that that stopped him from starting Satin against a lefty and sitting Davis later that day.  The results were good, and the Mets won the ballgame largely because of Satin’s contributions.

But still, Collins maintains they’re not a platoon.

There are exactly no logical reasons that I’ve been able to come up with that could explain this stance.

Not one.

The idea that you have a player who mashes against lefties but struggles (relatively speaking) against righties, and a player who hits righties well, but struggles against lefties, they both play the same position, and you’re not going to platoon them is mind boggling.

You don’t have to be crunching spreadsheets in your mother’s basement to figure out that this platoon would succeed.  Look at the incredibly small size of the Milwaukee series; Mets first basemen combined to go 6-11 with 2 doubles, 3 RBIs and 4 runs scored.  They also combined for a .667 OBP.

Now I’m not suggesting that a potential platoon would be that successful in any given three game stretch, but anyone who has watched Ike Davis bat against a lefty over the past two seasons knows that Satin is clearly a better option.

It is possible that Davis’ month long banishment to Las Vegas magically cured his woes, and he can now capably hit left handed pitching, but to give him the reins to the full time first base job immediately after being recalled is downright irresponsible.

Davis should have to prove that he is cured before he should be allowed to get his full time job back.

Until then, he should be relegated to a part time role playing Brandon Moss to Josh Satin’s Chris Carter (bad example, but I digress).

Terry Collins has been gifted with a great situation and in true Terry Collins fashion, he has found a way to mess it up. 

Scott Rice performing marginally well?  Better pitch him every day until he’s no longer effective. 

A spot at first base opens up?  Put Murphy there, Jordany Valdespin and his .256 wOBA at second and leave Lucas Duda and his -11.5 UZR in left field.

Get gifted a potentially productive platoon which could help the team win more games?  Don’t even bother to give it a shot, even though there is no real risk involved.

If the platoon was tried and it failed, what would really be the consequences?  The team wins 72 games instead of 74?

So why kill it before it even has the chance to live?  As with so many other decisions that Collins makes, I just don’t know.

Joe Vasile is a play-by-play announcer and radio host.  Follow him on Twitter and check out his website.

11 comments for “Why not platoon Ike Davis and Josh Satin?

  1. za
    July 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Oh man, don’t even get me started. It’s frankly incredible how much better someone like Joe Maddon could run this team. TC is not getting rehired and if Ike stays with the team going into 2014, I would be surprised if it wasn’t as part of a platoon. It’s ridiculous how we choose to put out a worse option than our best possible team. Absolutely insane.

  2. July 8, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    I’m not wild on the idea of a platoon.

    First of all, if Ike really has magically solved his problems, he needs to start full-time. This is a guy at his peak can play Gold Glove defense and hit 50 home runs. You don’t sacrifice at bats from that type of performance.

    That said, I’m not sold on Davis’ Vegas transformation. In fact, I want to see him win the full-time gig away from the guy who took over when he left (Satin, not Duda).

    Third, Satin has hit so well, looked ok in the field and has not introduced any personal issues in the clubhouse. Reward the guy with a starting gig as long as he keeps hitting.

    Then you’ve also got the problem of roster spots. Unless you really want Duda going back into left field, the mets have three ML first basemen on the 25-man roster (Davis, Satin and Duda). Someone is going somewhere, whether it’s Vegas or another ML club. If he were healthy, Duda would make sense for an AL team looking for a 1B/DH with thump and Davis works for a team willing to bet he can recover. Satin brings nothing of value back in a trade and is the most likely to end up in AAA again. Just 23 days to figure out the details, including who gets playing time to spotlight them for a potential trade partner.

  3. Metsense
    July 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    I was not in favor of Davis coming back so soon but the injury to Duda made it the right move. The fact that right now, Satin is the better player, makes it a no brainer to platoon him with Ike, especially with the statistics you provided.
    If Murphy has trade value, then him being traded for a need (prospect) would initially free up 2B for Satin. When Satin comes down to Earth then Flores could be eased in.
    Right now, TC says he is not platooning but if it walks like a duck …etc. If he is for real then in the immortal words of Steevy,”Fire Collins”.
    One other point on TC.Lagares has a nice game then sits against a LHP. I realize Brown needs AB ‘s but Lagares needs them more. In this case Brown is S.O.O.L. and should have to wait for another chance later.TC just doesn’t have a plan and waffles too much.

  4. blastingzone
    July 8, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Well nothing TC does anymore shocks me, he likes to talk without thinking which usually leaves his foot in his mouth! Sometimes(a lot) he says really stupid shit and then the next
    day he will say something different which I believe is SA calling him and telling him what to do or his bench and other coaches talking to him or both? How can you sit down your hottest hitter right now for a player who has yet to reprove himself on the mets in Davis? At the least platoon him at first and if Davis gets hot platoon Satin at 2nd base with Murphy who
    is slumping right now! Satin hits right handers like he owns them and TC has to find a place
    for him everytime a left hander pitches!!

  5. Jerry Grote
    July 8, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Joe … TC has been working out Josh Satin in the OF. Satin’s game experience in the OF is ONE game.

    I had some hopes when he actually played a 1B at 1B, the CF in CF, and 2B at second.

    Thinking he’d use a platoon? What would make you even go in that direction?

    • Joe Vasile
      July 8, 2013 at 2:27 pm

      I hoped that maybe he would have some sense beaten into him by Sandy Alderson and he would manage to do something that makes sense and makes the team better. I do realize that could be asking too much of him, but if I were managing this team, this is what I would do.

      • Jerry Grote
        July 8, 2013 at 4:26 pm

        re: Sandy and TC.

        I really wonder what the level of communication goes on there … when you watch Moneyball, there certainly is a dynamic that goes on between Howe and Beane that doesn’t seem to exist here.

        SA probably is one of the top 8 GMs in baseball. Get right down to it, without spending much he’s put Torres, EYJ, Q, Byrd on the squad and picked up our top three prospects through trades in situations where he really had no leverage. But I question the effectiveness of TC and that still gets laid at his feet.

        • Joe Vasile
          July 8, 2013 at 4:47 pm

          I’ve heard stories that Alderson got in shouting matches with TC at the end of last year over managerial things, but those are of course unconfirmed, so take it with a grain of salt. If it is true though, then that means that there is some kind of communication going on, TC is not listening.

  6. steevy
    July 8, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    Why not?Because Terry Collins is a bad manager and for some reason is devoted to Ike Davis(reminds me of Rex Ryan with Mark Sanchez).Fire Terry Collins!

  7. July 9, 2013 at 12:31 am

    I said it in an earlier blog to platoon Ike until he shows he’s capable of hitting lefties again. It keeps Ike mind focused on the game and his career, I don’t think it matters for next season if the organization tries to bury Ike and low ball him into taking a pay cut.

    • Joe Vasile
      July 9, 2013 at 10:32 pm

      I don’t think that is an unreasonable approach.

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