It was just three measly years ago that a budding young power-hitting first basemen looked nervously into the camera as Chris Carlin interviewed him live before millions of viewers late one Spring Training evening in a local pub. As they concluded, Carlin refers to him as “The future of the New York Mets, Ike Davis.”, which gets a rousing cheer from the Mets fans in the restaurant. He smiles–uncomfortably–at the applause as they cut back to studio.
It was just three years ago that the Jacobs-Tatis platoon at first was failing, and that same budding young power-hitting first baseman was making some noise down in Buffalo, ultimately leading to a phone call and a subsequent plane ride into LaGuardia Airport.
It was barely three years ago that fans laid witness to the next great Met blossoming before their eyes. It was three years ago he dove into dugouts, cranked walk-off homers into the Pepsi Porch and excited a downtrodden fanbase in a way not seen since the pennant race of 2006.
Now three years later, Davis has brought a whole new meaning to “Pure Chaos”, and not in a good way. He is completely lost at the plate, has made solid contact on only a fraction of his mere 13 hits this season (the majority of which went over the fence), and at this point is playing himself out of a job.
Ike has stated that he has a tendency to start off the year slow and it takes time for him to warm up, however if his batting doesn’t come to a boil soon, the Mets have a ready-made first baseman waiting in the wings–or at least in left field–.
Duda taking over first is not out of the realm of possibilities. Prior to d’Arnaud’s injury Terry Collins already proposed the idea of sliding John Buck over to first when the Mets top-hitting prospect eventually got the call. If someone who has yet to play first in their professional career had been on the table to at least split time at first with Davis, why wouldn’t Duda, someone who played more first base than left field in the minors, be in the fold as well?
Collins said last week that there are no plans to us Duda at first, however if Davis continued to swing-and-miss, things could change in a hurry.
Lucas Duda is not an outfielder, no matter how hard the Mets try to force it on him. He is a first base/ designated hitter type of player. Sure he doesn’t have the defensive prowess of Davis, however Davis hasn’t exactly been the same out on the diamond since his rookie campaign.
This is not to say Duda or anyone else is going to take Ike’s job in 2013, however when this offseason comes and goes, I am not confident that Ike Davis will be a New York Met come Opening Day 2014. He is set to make $7-8 million in arbitration next year, and that could be too rich for the shallow pockets of the Alderson regime.
He has been through major slumps in the minors, his first season and in 2012 and was able to turn himself around. When it comes down to it however, the Amazin’s can’t afford to have their first baseman bat under the Mendoza line through one half of the season, then go on a tear post-All Star Break in the next.
That will not be seen as worth the money for Sandy Alderson and the Mets. This has become a make-or-break year for Isaac Benjamin Davis, and if he doesn’t turn it around soon, things might get a whole lot more “chaotic” for the former-budding young star.