March 10, 2014

Mets' Nonexistent First Base Competition

As the Mets entered spring training, one of the areas they hoped to obtain some clarity in was the future of the first base position.  They returned the former first baseman of the future, Ike Davis, and the recently trimmed down Lucas Duda.  The two were set to do battle this spring in an effort to win the starting first base role.  This haven't exactly gone as planned.

The team declared an intention to get Ike Davis as many as 100 at-bats prior to opening day, with the hope of fending off the slow starts that have derailed his previous two seasons.  So far this spring, he's had six.  Dual calf injuries, apparently caused by some errant weight lifting have now cost Davis more than a week of spring training.  Gone too is any hope of him getting 100 at-bats.

One thing that isn't gone is the likelihood that Davis will come out of camp with the first base gig.  Lucas Duda has only managed seven spring at-bats himself, hobbled by a hamstring injury of his own.  This is unfortunate, as Duda had hoped to separate himself and could have forced the Mets' hand had he really outperformed Davis this spring, after a winter full of extra work.

The Mets know less now than they did at the beginning of camp about the future of first base.  If both players were healthy, the outside chance of trading the loser of the competition remained.  Those hopes appear to be dashed at this point.  Neither's return to the lineup is imminent and as the calendar turns to the middle or March, the Mets have to be growing concerned.


  1. Hey Rob, Besides being overjoyed with Ike's situation, the downside is Duda hasn't done much to convince anyone he deserves the job ! How come no ones getting on Duda's case here Rob ?
    If I read 7 or 8 writers here on Davis, all write negative on him. Why is that Rob ? It would seem Met fans are 50-50 on Davis pro or con, but you guys, well it's 100 per cent ! Just wondering.

    1. First and foremost, everyone here is free to write their own opinion. If we are all critical of Davis, rest assured its not an organized attack.

      Ike Davis is the better ball player. He had higher potential at the plate and played above average defense. He's also had nearly two years to get his act together. He deserves criticism.

      Duda has no such body of work. His offensive numbers have always been weak and he's a liability in the field no matter where he plays. If Duda ends up with the everyday gig, it's because Ike lost it, not because Duda did anything other than being the best remaining option to earn it.