published by Keith Gendron March 25, 2014.
Not that this is the biggest news regarding the Mets these days, but Ike Davis and Lucas Duda have made the opening day roster as confirmed by Sandy Alderson today. The competition for first base continues however. The challenge for these two has been staying healthy this spring and with just 4 exhibition games remaining, hopefully they can make it to Flushing in one piece. Not all that long ago, Alderson was still shopping Davis to teams such as Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, but the general manager couldn’t get the player he seeked in return.
When Davis has been healthy, he has been the better all around player and I expect him to be the other half of the platoon with Josh Satin. Duda has been a defensive liability in the outfield and a little smoother at first base. The Mets had planned to give him more reps this spring in the outfield, but his absence due to a hamstring injury squashed that idea. Duda will get some spot starts at first in April, but will primarily be a power bat off the bench. He’ll also DH when they face the Angels in the middle of April.
I have said for months that I expect a rebound for Ike this year as he has worked and watched tape in the off-season to correct his batting. If it is a strict platoon for the season, I think he can approach 20 homers and 60 rbis. Duda also has trended positively the last couple of years, although most people only see his strike outs and poor defense in the outfield. His average dropped 16 points from 2012 to 2013, but his home run total was the same and he had one more double in 75 less plate appearances than 2012. He also walked more, so his OBP increased 23 points, eventhough his batting average dropped. So these numbers will continue to grow, especially if he doesn’t see another drop in average.
This coupled with Josh Satin’s success against southpaws last year, should lend to decent production from the first base position offensively in 2014. Is it the perfect situation? no, but it can be productive.