January 21, 2014

Mets Should Not Simply Award Ike Davis The First Base Job

Yesterday's comments by Sandy Alderson that Lucas Duda could see some time in the outfield this season could mean one of several things.  It could be a way to find Duda more at-bats.  The Mets may be willing to make another failed attempt at sending the bulky slugger floundering across Citi's expansive outfield.  Alderson could also be making some sort of hollow threat in an effort to impact Duda's arbitration negotiations.  It could mean any one of those.  It could also mean that the team has already awarded Ike Davis the first base job for 2014, and I can't think of anything worse.

When I say I don't think Davis should be awarded the job, I mean he should have to earn it.  How can you take a player who has fallen as far as Davis had, been demoted to the minor leagues and shown little ability to rebound thus far, and just give him anything?

At the end of the day, I have always believed that Davis has a higher ceiling than Duda, albeit I question his ability to reach it with every ounce of my being.  When he has his head on straight, Davis is the better hitter, better fielder and better all-around ball player.  However, for the first base job to be anything less than an open competition throughout spring training is an absolute joke.  Make him earn it.  Make him think he's the one who'll ride the pine.  Ike Davis shouldn't be given anything until he proves he can handle it.  Until then, who starts at first base on opening day should be anyone's guess.

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