Recent news coming out of Port St. Lucie concerning New York Mets giving first baseman Ike Davis at least 90 at-bats is interesting.
The first being the Mets will have a short leash this spring with Davis. They’ll give him every opportunity to start strong to win and keep the job.
Theoretically, this should eliminate the slow starts that defined his last two seasons and sent him to the minors last year. This shouldn’t be interpreted as Davis being handed the job as in the two previous years.
He’d better make good use of those 90 at-bats.
“In the past you look to get him 60-70 at-bats,’’ Collins told The New York Post. “Well, he’s going to get at least 90. Yeah, he might get a little tired, but he’s too big a piece. We have to know what we have there.’’
Davis, at 26, has an upside evidenced by 32 homers hit in 2012. They know what they could have. They also know what they have had, meaning a low on-base percentage and batting average, lots of strikeouts and little run production.
Lucas Duda moved ahead of Davis last season when he improved his on-base percentage, but his run production was miniscule. The knock on him is he became too selective and passed on money pitches.
The Mets will also be aware of giving Duda his at-bats during spring training unless Davis doesn’t pan out or can’t deal him.
GM Sandy Alderson has tied to deal Davis since the end of the season, much to the anger of his father, former Yankees pitcher, Ron Davis, who ripped the Mets for being too open about their intentions.
In doing so, their asking price was scoffed at as being too high.
That’s something they can’t go back on, so Davis still won’t bring much. Plus, if he has a hot spring, he won’t be going anywhere, making Duda the more likely one to be traded.