December 14, 2013

Is It Time To Re-Embrace Ike Davis?

The Winter Meetings are over, and while that certainly does not mark the end of the offseason, it definitely closes the door on what was probably going to be the biggest flurry of activity. The Mets made some big steps in that time and since, adding some pop to the lineup in the form of Curtis Granderson, and landing a steal in Bartolo Colon, one of the best pitchers in the game last season. They've also added Chris Young to their outfield, hoping he can rediscover some of the power and hitting prowess he had once had. Their next big push figures to come in the form of repairing the gaping hole that existed at shortstop last season, via the trade market. With all of this happening, it appears that the franchise will not be able to replace every ineffective position in their lineup for the coming year, meaning Daniel Murphy will almost certainly be back and that we are likely to see a familiar face manning first base. Given the option of Lucas Duda or Ike Davis, I'd take Ike in a heartbeat.

Photo by Michael Baron
But are Mets fans ready to make that leap? Alderson and Company have done, in my opinion, a pretty nice job of shuffling the biggest holes out of the Met lineup. Known almost exclusively for their reclamation project signings the last few seasons, Chris Young is the only addition this year that needs to greatly outperform expectations to be effective. Given his and Granderson's additions, Terry Collins is going to have the opportunity to trot out a competent batting order on a daily basis. I think Ike Davis can flourish in that situation. Not expected to bat fourth or fifth, perhaps he can slot in at the back half of the lineup and rediscover his swing in lower pressure situations. When the team talks about Duda, they talk about his potential, how we haven't seen yet what he can be. With Ike, we can talk about what we have seen. A lot of bad, yes, but also a player who slugged 32 home runs in a season. I don't have to visualize Duda doing that; I can remember when Ike actually did it in Citi Field.

Davis came in with great fanfare. There were "I Like Ike" buttons and t-shirts, and between the hitting and the falling over the rail catches, the fans loved him. His second season, cut short by injury, started out with a ton of promise, his average over .300, he was consistently hitting for power. But something went wrong after that injury. Not that he has never played well since; we've seen flashes of him here or there. But it has never been day in, day out good for him since. This front office loves taking damaged goods and repairing them. We have one right here in our organization, one with huge upside if you can get him right again. Plug him back in at first base, build his confidence back up, and see if he can't get back where he started.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe the best trade is the trade not made. I like Ike more then Duda at first for opening day,