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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