It was a demoralizing scene if I ever saw one.
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.
8 comments on “Ok, Ike will (likely) be gone. So, what’s next?”
It gives me a chuckle when people fret over who is going to replace Davis. The guy has a .468 OPS overall and has one hit in his last 42 ABs. I’m pretty sure anyone can replace that, as those are numbers that get a backup middle infielder released, to say nothing of a starting first baseman.
In his last 12 games, Davis has a .113 OPS. That’s worse than the .141 mark that Chin-lung Hu put up in 2011 as the team’s backup shortstop when he was mercifully cut after 23 PA. Davis’ recent inept play – not to be confused with his season-long inept play – has covered 45 PA.
I know the plan is to give him the weekend, but it’s sadistic to keep Davis around for two more games before doing the inevitable.
Even more sad fact.
The worst collective hitting pitchers in the league are the Pirates who have a .127 OPS. Davis is lower than that. The Mets pitchers have a .264 OPS.
We would be better served if a pitcher was hitting than Davis.
Addition by subtraction certainly works here.
I’m with Brian. Davis is at best an extremely streaky power hitter. Even though he finished extremely well last year, the team played hostage to his anemic at bats for half of the year. Unfortunately, now that his weaknesses have been exposed again, he would bring nothing in a trade. I would have liked them to trade him for an outfielder with power, but that scenario vanished once spring training began. First base joins the outfield and shortstop as areas of need once payroll is available this off season.
Duda should be playing first base. He’s clearly a first baseman. On defense he has been worth negative one war and is projected to be worth negative three war over the course of the year. That said, he has already lost us multiple games through misplaying balls or not getting to them. He has also acknowledged he is most comfortable at first. That is where he should play with Valdy and Lagares getting more playing time in the OF. We can certainly call Lutz up to take a roster spot (Brown is injured?)but I want to see the Dude at first and not in the OF.
The right move is to bring up Satin. The problem is who do they drop on the 40 man roster to make that happen? Can they move Francisco to the 60 day disable list and create a space that way? not sure what the rules are.
If not Satin, then bring up either Lutz or Brown. I wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring up either Lutz and Brown or Satin and Lutz while sending Valdespin back down. If he is not playing at the ML level, he is just being wasted. Might as well get him some playing time at AAA.
Or Duda to first, JV1 in left, and Lutz playing off the bench with no 40 man moves required.
What is next as the Mets prepare for 2014? Last winter I advocated that either Davis or Duda be traded because they are both similar firstbasemen. I do not consider either a “cornerstone” player. I thought Ike would go because he had a better chance of bringing in a better OF. In 2013, the situation has reversed, and Duda will probably have more value. One thing I’m certain about, one should be traded this winter and it should be the one that brings in the most value.
What is next in 2013? I would prefer Duda at 1B (he is not an OF) but this poorly constructed team really has no OF candidates ready in AAA . Brown has the best stats but he is hurt. Lutz is my next choice only because he is on the roster and after three years at AAA , what the heck. Josh Satin is not on the 40 man. What a mess!
If the Mets bring up Lutz , they should give the player at least a 100 AB’s before discarding him. These 15 to 50 AB auditions just aren’t enough of a chance for these players.
I agreed with you then (about trading one of Duda and Davis) and I agree with you now; we need to give someone a true audition. And I think we need to give someone from LV the shot.
This roster is a mess, and it works best if you simply blow it up and start with the pieces you want to keep long term. Right now, it looks there’s really only two – Wright and Murphy. Move Duda into 1B and make a long term decision on him, and give a shot to at least one more LV player. Personally I think it goes to Lutz anyways.
If Duda doesn’t make the move by August, let the last 60 days of 2013 be a time for Satin. If the worst thing this team does is pick up two guys that can get on base 37% of the time (and hey, that could be any combination of Duda, Satin and Lutz) then you are well on your way to a productive lineup with Wright and Murphy already in place.
Add in TDA and you’ve turned chickens**t into chicken salad.