With Ike Davis having another dreadful month of April, many fans have lost hope in the New York Mets first baseman. Some have even gone as far as saying he should be sent down to the minors. Despite Davis’ poor start, I believe he should not be sent down and he should continue to be the everyday first baseman for three reasons.
My first reason is Ike Davis’ ceiling is far greater than any alternative in the Mets system. The Mets don’t have a player right now who has the potential to be an impact player. The Mets do have Josh Satin, but he has a limited upside. He doesn’t have a lot of power potential, and he is an average at best defender. His numbers also seem less impressive when you take into account that he’s a 28 year old in AAA hitting in Las Vegas, which is a notorious hitter’s paradise.
Who else do the Mets have? Zach Lutz is hitting .218 in Las Vegas and has very limited experience playing first base in the minors. Justin Turner is a nice bench player, but he’s not good enough to be an everyday starter. The Mets could also move Duda to first and call up an outfielder, but with the organization’s lack of quality players at the position, it is unlikely that they have an outfielder that could come up and make a significant impact.
The reality of the situation is that the Mets have no one else who can legitimately be an impact player at first base. While Davis has been inconsistent throughout his young career, he’s had many stretches where he has been an impact player. Davis had a solid season in 2010. He was great in the early part of the 2011 season before he suffered a season ending injury, and last year he had an outstanding 2nd half. If Ike Davis makes the right adjustments, he has a far greater upside than any other alternative the Mets have.
My second point is if Davis could rebound and have a solid second half last year, then why can’t he have a similar rebound this season? In the 2nd half last season, Ike was one of the best power hitters in the league. Davis hit .269/.351/.562 with 27HR and 68 RBI after June 10th of last season. Davis’ problems at the plate are eerily similar to last season, so Davis has proven he is capable of making the necessary adjustments to turn his season around.
My third point is that it’s too early to panic. While it’ certainly not too soon to be concerned about Davis, it’s way too soon to make a drastic decision like sending him down. It would not be a wise decision to send down a player because of one bad month. Many good players have bad months during the course of a 162 game season. Davis’ early season struggles are more pronounced because his slump is happening in April. If Davis is batting sub .200 in August for example, many people would not notice.
The Mets need to exhibit patience with Ike Davis. The Mets should not make a shortsighted decision by sending him down. He has the ability to turn his season around, and he has a higher upside than any alternative in the system. If his problems continue to persist later on during the season, then sending him down will be an option. But as for now, he should continue to be the Mets everyday first baseman.