Tag Archives: Ike Davis

METBLOGFEVER: Are the Mets wildcard worthy?

published by Keith Gendron                                      March 27, 2014.

 

There are 4 days left until the home opener to the 2014 season at Citifield versus the Washington Nationals. This spring training seemed to last forever. Two exhibition games at the old Olympic Stadium in Montreal against the Toronto Blue jays and an off day remain. Hopefully there will be no casualties during the series, in an attempt to draw baseball back to Montreal, an old division rival, Montreal Expos(now Washington Nationals).

But enough talk of exhibitions and games that don’t count. Lets do this already. The 2014 Mets will have new additions Bartolo Colon, Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, along with Jose Valverde. Gone for 2014 is Matt Harvey as he recoups from Tommy John surgery. Ruben Tejada is the shortstop for the time being and Ike Davis and Lucas Duda are both on the roster as well. The shortstop issue was not addressed as Stephen Drew has been dangling for months with no takers. I am assuming Ike Davis will be the left-handed complement to Josh Satin as Duda is a late inning bat off the bench and designated hitter, getting occasional starts at first base. Daniel Murphy survived trade rumors as well and now entering his prime, I expect even more production from him. David Wright should benefit the most from the Granderson signing offering him protection he hasn’t had since the second half of 2012. Wright needs to be healthy this year, along with Davis if their are any designs on reaching the post-season. Travis d’Arnaud will be playing his first full season in the Majors and I hope he just focuses on defense and managing the pitching staff and let the hitting just come. This year will be about constantly making adjustments in a league that overwhelmed him last September. Chris Young bouncing back and being productive again would solidify the lineup as a right handed power threat and he plays good defense as well. Eric Young Jr. hopefully buys in to pitch selection and getting on base more in order to cause havoc as a base stealer. Granderson should hit 25-30 homers this year and his presence trickles down to Wright and Murphy. He strikes out a ton as does half the lineup, but a power bat will also drive in runs. Juan Lagares is their best defender in the outfield, but I dont know if he gets bumped off the roster or not. I hope he gets an opportunity as the pitchers can relax when a ball is hit in the gaps with  out there.

The rotation is pretty good with Gee, Colon, Wheeler, Matsuzaka or Mejia and Niese. The reserves Syndergaard and Montero will be up in July and will excite the crowd. Colon’s condition worries me and I expect some sort of hamstring or leg injury when he has to run the bases. The bullpen is questionable. Parnell still recovering from neck surgery has pitched well in spring training, but he is still trying to build velocity. Vic Black was optioned to the minors to work on his mechanics and will hopefully be back in a few weeks. Valverde will be the set up man for now and spell Parnell early in the season on occasion. Jeurys Familia has pitched better in a limited sample this spring and Lannan has been added to the roster as a reliever. The rest are not that remarkable and hopefully can bridge the gap successfully.

The schedule will be tough in April facing playoff caliber teams in Washington, Atlanta, Arizona, Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Angels. Do the Mets have enough to make the post-season? Well, a lot has to go right. The chances of them all happening between health and career resurgences, I as a fan will say Yes!!! but as an analytical student of the game I say NO.

As far as what i project the positions of the National League East in 2014

Washington      95-67

Atlanta               85-77

Mets                  78-84

Miami                 70-92

Philadelphia       70-92

Nothing expert about this….I like to go against conventional wisdom at times and this appears to be what everyone that isn’t a Mets fan is predicting. I hope I am wrong, for the Mets and My sake, It would make  for one Hell Of A Season. Believe me, I will be watching every game this year, hoping for a hot start and some great individual contributions to get them to the Post-Season for the first time since 2006! It is about time and has been way too long!

METBLOGFEVER: Davis and Duda opening day roster definites

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.

Continue reading METBLOGFEVER: Davis and Duda opening day roster definites

METBLOGFEVER: Mets will be tested early

published by Keith Gendron     March 23, 2014.
 
With the 2014 Mets season 8 days away, fans and players are eager for the games to count. For the Mets it may be coming at the perfect time as players are recovering from some injuries and starting to hit their stride. The offense has produced 19 runs the past two games and players such as Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Travis d’Arnaud and even Ruben Tejada appear to be rounding in to form.
Well, for this team to have any chance to contend for the post-season this year, along with all 25 player’s contributions and creating a home field advantage at Citifield, the Mets will be tested early and often in the month of April. I would suggest if they can come out of April with a .500 record, then that would be a positive. After opening the season with a homestand against the Nationals and Cincinnati Reds, they will travel down to Atlanta for 3 (never easy), Los Angeles to face the Angels for 3 games and then Arizona for 3. That is a relentless schedule to start and their bats better be at their best. Coming back home after that road trip they play Atlanta for 3, St. Louis for 4, Miami for 2 and a 2 game series in Philadelphia to close out the month.
Easy? not at all. But, the challenge may provide a mentality early on in the season to be at their best and that the standard and focus of play needs to be high. Hopefully, they come out of it alright and can carry that mentality throughout the season and see where the chips lie at the end. But, for now they must play out their string of exhibition games and hope players get stronger and no injuries occur this last week of spring training.

 

To see the APRIL 2014 schedule click the link below

http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/schedule/index.jsp?c_id=nym#y=2014&m=4&calendar=DEFAULT

Mets to commemorate Kiner and other notes

published Keith Gendron

Kiner Remembered:

The Mets will commemorate Ralph Kiner’s fifty years as their broadcaster, with a patch displayed on the right shoulder of their jersey this year. On opening day at citifield there will also be a tribute unveiled upon the left field wall bearing the logo as well. The Mets have also said there will be an exhibit entitled, “Kiner’s Korner” to be located within Jackie Robinson rotunda.

Harvey arrives in camp:

Matt Harvey arrived at Port St. Lucie, Fla. complex today. Soon after, coming to terms that this spring training will be different. As much as Harvey wants to progress his throwing and rehab program, the Mets brass are hearing none of it. Thinking of the long term health for Harvey and that they and the doctors will be calling the shots on when and how fast he advances. Alderson has said on more than one occasion that this year is NOT about Matt Harvey, but about 2014 and how this team can succeed with the players available on the roster. He is not going to answer questions on a daily basis on Matt Harvey’s progress on rehab and when he will be available to return.

On the Tommy John surgery rehab front, Jeremy Hefner who had the surgery to his pitching arm roughly 2 months earlier than Harvey, has been cleared to begin tossing a baseball. Hefner was 4-8 4.34 era last season with 99 strikeouts in 130.2 innings walking 37.

Valverde always wanted to play in NY:

As per Mike Puma of the NY Post, Jose Valverde says, “New York is awesome. I can go shopping every morning.” If not for his agent Scott Boras, would have signed with the Mets last year but was steered to Detroit.

Ike Davis:

Ike has been hitting since November, to eliminate his sluggish starts to the season. He spent many hours going through video and uncovered an issue with his swing that was not addressed last year. To me, this sounds all positive. I was looking all last fall for information on whether or not Ike was doing anything to get back to where he was a few years ago and to eliminate the bad habits he picked up. He also has said that he wants to be the Mets first baseman. All these things I was hoping to hear. We won’t know what it translates to, but he has the right attitude and seemed self motivated to recapture what he had lost. I look for Davis to return close to form and was glad he wasn’t traded, because he is young(26), talented, he had shown he could perform at this level previously and that he was inexpensive. Not to mention how many times teams give up on young talent too soon and they rediscover the promise and talent elsewhere.

Duda to break- out and become offensive threat in 2014

published by Keith Gendron
 
Most Mets fans, including myself have seen and heard enough of Lucas Duda. Especially when the topic is defense, any fly ball his way, has fans gasping. But, since Ike Davis appears to be sticking around as well, if not at first base, Duda will again see time in the Outfield as well as DH opportunities in interleague series. However, injuries and the possibility of even platooning at leftfield with Chris Young if he doesn’t start the season at centerfield, Duda may just be growing into his own……offensively.
You see, Duda turns 28 years young tomorrow and he is entering his prime years, athletically. Although his confidence has always been a deterrent from him reaching his potential, he has been showing improvement each year……offensively. From 2011, in his first “full season”, he averaged 1 homer/30 atbats and 1 bb/per 10.5 plate appearances. Improving on his numbers in 2012 and in 2013 progressing to 1 homer/per 21.2 ab and 1 bb/7 ab. That is an improvement in power of almost 30% and patience at the plate of 35%. These numbers are playing against both left-handed and right-handed pitching. Against right-handed pitching only in 2013 his homerun ratio was 1 every 18.8 ab. Giving Duda 400 ab against righties this year only he could potentially hit 20 homers, strictly platooning. He also hit at a.462 slg clip against righties last year in comparison to .301 vs. lefties. His obp was higher than slugging pct. against lefties with a .309 obp. Just putrid numbers, confirming his obvious platoon player future.
With gold-glove caliber centerfielders in Lagares or Chris Young to his left, some of the pressure should be removed from Duda defensively. Also, the addition of Curtis Granderson should help Duda’s approach and hopefully assist in the progression of Duda….offensively.

Ike Davis to get opportunity to be Mets first baseman?

By Keith Gendron

According to New York Mets insiders, Ike Davis is now expected to be in spring training with the team. Mets gm Sandy Alderson had been holding Ike out there on a line all off season to see what bites he could get, but none were satisfactory enough to pull the trigger at this point. Apparently, no teams are desperate enough to part with their young pitching for the 26 year old left handed bat.
Maybe, this becomes the best trade the Mets never made and Ike Davis and his swing returns to the promise it had shown not so long ago. In 2012, after getting off to a horrendous start, Davis finished the season extremely strong and finished with a team leading 32 homers and 90 rbi. Last season was an identical clueless start and Ike did not show improvement until he returned from a 2 week stint at triple-A Vegas with a more discernable eye at the plate, but no sign of power finishing the season with 9 homeruns.

Still, maybe an offer comes Alderson’s way this spring when injuries occur and teams faced with no other options pull the trigger out of desperation. The Mets still have the Lucas Duda project as a fall back and he still has minor league options. Duda is another left handed bat with potential, but has not shown consistency at the major league level. Many of his offensive numbers mirror Davis’. He had been a liability in the outfield and first base is his natural position, but he wont be confused with Keith Hernandez anytime soon. The Mets brass appear to like his “upside”. He is a year older than Davis, so they apparently feel Davis doesnt have as much upside. Duda’s numbers have trended upward and maybe they think he is ready for 550-plus plate appearances finally.

 Ike has had 2 strong seasons, so, I am hoping for his sake and the Mets he can rebound from whatever he is battling and turn it all around. He is good defensively and if he can find his power stroke again, then the Mets may make it to the postseason this year. But if it doesnt happen for him and Duda becomes the slugging first baseman the Mets are hoping then that works as well.
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Beltran the right move for 2011

This morning Terry Collins and Carlos Beltran agreed upon Angel Pagan as being the everyday centerfielder. This move should help keep Beltran’s bat in the lineup longer this year and possibly assist in extending his career. Beltran is in the final year of his 7 year contract signed with the Mets in the offseason before 2005.

Rightfield at Citifield is not routine by any means with angled outfield walls that vary in height and the extremely limited foul territory. There is plenty of field to roam in the gap but with Pagan in center, the gaps will be shrunk some.

With a healthy Beltran, Jose Reyes and Jason Bay along with David Wright and sophomore year from Ike Davis the Mets are leaning heavy on this lineup to produce  in order to have any chance of improving on last year’s 79-83 mark.

Mediocrity at Best

The Mets have completed 1/3 of their season and their record stands at 27-27. Their have been two winning streaks of 5 and 8 games. Some exciting wins and brutal losses. At this point they have proven to be a dominant home team at 19-9 as they have seemed to use the ballpark to their advantage in year 2 of Citifield. However, they are equally impotent on the road at 8-18.

Their have been some exciting wins and brief stretches of appearing to have put it all together…but, these are the calling cards of mediiocre teams. Pelfrey and Johan have been great as has Ike Davis, Barajas and even Pagan. At this time they are still relevant and are hoping for Beltran to rejoin the club around the All-Star break which would be like an in season free agent pick up (if healthy). The relief which was a strong point early in the season has fallen hard back to earth and Oliver Perez wont take an assignment to the minors.

So the Mets will keep plugging along, hoping to stay afloat and make a push for the wildcard. An improvement on the road is necessary for this to happen as well as better relief pitching and hopefully a signing of a pitcher that wont require significant chips, such as Kevin Millwood or Roy Oswalt and maybe finally, stretch out Mejia so he might contribute as a starter this year. Although,at this time it has been increasingly difficult to get relief help.