First base competition will bring the best out of Lucas Duda

Duda DavisThe Mets have been unable to trade Ike Davis. The Pirates, Orioles and Brewers don’t seem to be willing to pay the price tag that the Mets have set for the young first baseman.  But that might not be a bad thing.

A lot of reporters, bloggers and fans seem to be annoyed with the idea of bring Davis to spring training for a first base competition. It’s actually the best course of action.

If the trade that Sandy Alderson is looking for isn’t there, it doesn’t make sense to just cut ties with Davis. They seem to think he has some value and talent, based off of their asking price. But imagine a camp with Davis, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin battling it out for the first base position. Maybe finally, this could be the year the Mets move forward at first base, with whoever wins the job. Davis is talented, there is no doubt there. The biggest concern with Davis is consistency, the ability to be the hitter he has shown to be, all year long.

Spring training is a time to have these battles and figure out who’s the best guy going forward for the team. It makes sense to make one of these guys earn the job. It will bring out their best play, and can maybe give them that boost they need to succeed over the course of a 162 game season.

Nothing should be handed to any of these three candidates. They haven’t shown that they “deserve” to be the starting first baseman of the New York Mets. Make them compete for it.

Competition is contagious. If others around the team see the effort that these three are putting in, it can spread to the rest of the squad. With a team that isn’t talented up and down the roster, it takes some motivation to make players rise above their talent abilities.

Coming out of camp, the Mets will be better off. They will have a clear winner at the first base position and three guys who gave it their all to win the job.

Any way you slice it, the best guy on the roster will win the job and that’s a good thing for the Mets.


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7 comments for “First base competition will bring the best out of Lucas Duda

  1. NormE
    January 1, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Hey Chris,
    Good argument, but who wrote the headline? It doesn’t accurately reflect what the rest of the piece says.

  2. Chris F
    January 1, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Unfortunately as we all know ST isn’t worth a crap for proving anything. Games don’t matter a lick, and opposing pitching is fabulously variable. Any competition would ultimately be staged for media consumption. What your article needs to add is that at 27, 28, and 30 years of age there is not a single every day major leaguer in the group. First base is a major disaster on this team.

    • Jerry Grote
      January 2, 2014 at 5:58 am

      The operative term here is every day, since any current solution will face extreme splits … and right now we’re basing production on Satin continuing to rake against LHP. I think that’s a fool’s errand.

      My guess is that he regresses, and he loses support from Terry quickly.

  3. JS1056
    January 2, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Everyone is forgetting Flores. I think he will be there by the end of May.

  4. Jim OMalley
    January 2, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I say that you can’t just dump Ike Davis. if no deal merges go into Spring training with him. An injury on another team or good performances could help unravel the logjam at the first base position.

  5. Jim OMalley
    January 2, 2014 at 7:50 am

    Sorry meant to say if no deal emerges…..

  6. Metsense
    January 2, 2014 at 8:47 am

    Ike Davis burst on the scene in 2010 with a 351/440/791 and .176 ISO. He also had a UZR/150 of 12.4. It appeared that the Mets were developing a first baseman for years to come but an injury derailed him in 2011.
    2011 brought the Mets the Beltran trade and Lucas Duda took over in right field and produced a 370/482/852 with a .189 ISO. Offensive numbers that were actually better than Ike Davis’ 2010. Duda was playing right field and posting a -41.3 UZR/150. The sabermetric fan realized right away that Duda wasn’t an outfielder. The old school fan saw Duda’s lack of range and the outs he didn’t catch that became hits and they also realized Duda wasn’t an outfielder.
    The winter of 2011 was when the Mets should have been shopping Duda and Davis and taking the best deal. Sandy refused to make this tough decision, a decision he gets paid to make. He didn’t deal with it in the winter of 2012 and so far the same in 2013. It is now January 2014 and he still refuses to pull the trigger.
    This is not second guessing on my part because I have posted this all along and feel that this lack of leadership is a demerit in Sandy’s resume.
    Sandy has been in a dilemna: Davis or Duda, Duda or Davis, Davis or Duda, Duda or Davis and what the devil to do with Satin?

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