An MMO Fan Shot by Adam AKA Schnitzer’s Marble Rye
After watching a spring training filled with injuries, inconsistency, and still no clear cut answers at the first base position, I’m wondering if Sandy Alderson made a mistake by not pulling the trigger on a Matt Joyce for Ike Davis trade. In November, I read a post on MMO that the Rays had offered Joyce for Davis in an even swap. I then saw in a New York Post article in February that Sandy Alderson rejected a Joyce for Davis deal.
The Mets rejected the offer, and went on to sign OF Chris Young just a few days later to begin the process of improving the outfield (which I actually think could have been an even better signing with Joyce on the roster already..more on that shortly).
First, a quick summarization of the Duda/Davis saga – In a nutshell, Ike as we know can get raging hot, have a great streak or even half, but then OPS in the .500 or .600 range for extended periods of the time (aka the other half of the season). Duda has the lower ceiling, but is less likely to be a complete black hole in the lineup for long periods of time like Ike has often showed to be.
In all likelihood Duda or Davis full time vs. LHP & RHP would give you below average first base production in 2014 and beyond. They have similar splits vs. RHP/LHP, so either way a platoon is suggested. So hopefully Satin can continue to be good vs. LHP.
But it’s possible, dare I say likely, a Duda/Satin platoon in 2014 will give you a .750-800 OPS from the 1B position, and that’s not too bad. With Ike, the likelihood he’s going to at some point eat up a couple of hundred at-bats as a black hole in the lineup, is high. Platoon or not, with Ike I think it’s goodbye reasonably consistent first base production in 2014. Is that something the perceived-to-be offensively challenged Mets can really afford? I think the consensus is if the Mets could’ve got, or could get something decent for Ike, you pull the trigger — if Ike goes on to be an all star somewhere else, you tip your hat to the guy.
So would Matt Joyce have been “something decent” for Ike? Perhaps I’m being swayed by watching Ike flail hideously at breaking balls in today’s last spring training game, but I think so.
Matt Joyce is 29. Ike is 27. Both left-handed hitters. They’re due similar salaries in 2014. Basically, they’re somewhat comparable.
Without doing a detailed statistical analysis of every single player mentioned in this post, I must mention Joyce’s .835 career OPS vs. RHP. (Although they probably wouldn’t have if they traded for Joyce), let’s assume the Mets had still signed Chris Young. CY’s OPS vs. LHP career you ask? .837.
A platoon in RF of Joyce/Young could have been solid, giving you an .830 OPS out of the position. Hell, you could make the argument that trading Ike for Joyce would have been a better move than signing Chris Young at all. The majority of pitchers are right-handed, feeding more into Joyce strength – not CY’s.
If you want to make the argument that CY is a better glove than Joyce, and Citi Field is spacious and demands rangy outfielders, I get it. To be honest, I’m not all that familiar with Joyce’s defensive abilities. But if he’s been a major league outfielder for 6+ years, I’m guessing he’s a serviceable fielder at the very least. And besides, look at where the Mets are now, it’s March 29th, and they’re considering Lucas Duda in the outfield again.
But to wrap up the proposal of a possible Chris Young/Matt Joyce RF platoon, it could work. Because platoons work, with the right players who actually compliment their individual strengths. If Young is assumed to be a better fielder than Joyce, he becomes a defensive replacement late in games as well. And while I like Andrew Brown to a degree, I think CY off the bench is a better righthanded option.
The Oakland A’s have often used platoons and have been a much more successful team than the Mets have been in recent years for sure. I mean, even last year with CY having his worst season ever pretty much, the A’s still figured out a way to win 90+ games by using him in a platoon/part time situation.
Trading Ike could have put Duda at some ease as well. I know it wouldn’t be the popular choice to announce to the fans that Duda/Satin are are going to be our first basemen in 2014, but at least we could’ve avoided this embarrassing first base “competition.”
I’m no psychiatrist, but I’d probably say it would have been a good thing to tell Duda early on, “You’re our first baseman, at least vs. RHP.” Duda, while not perceived an amazing hitter by any means, still OPS’d .818 vs RHP over the last 3 seasons, and is .812 career vs. RHP in almost 1,000 career AB’s, a decent-sized sample size.
I’m generally an Alderson supporter, and tend to take the perspective that his biggest challenge is being handcuffed financially, but what do you guys think, did he make a mistake by not pulling the trigger on Ike Davis for Matt Joyce when he had the chance?
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This Fan Shot was contributed by Adam AKA Schnitzer’s Marble Rye. Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 30,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to us at FanShot@MetsmerizedOnline.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.