The early results are in for Ike Davis and I for one am confused. His triple slash line of .282/.446/.423 is neither good nor bad. Truth be told it is a mixed bag that leaves me wondering what the Mets should do with Davis in 2014. In some ways a mediocre performance is the worst case scenario for the Mets since it complicates the situation at 1st base going into an offseason where the Mets have an outfield and shortstop to sort out. Let us start by looking at the two other possible scenarios for Davis’s return to the majors.
If Ike Davis returned from his month long stay and the minors and hit at a clip similar to what we saw out of him in the second half of last year (.265/.347/.565) then Alderson’s decision would be made easier. Not that bringing Davis back next season would be a no brainer, at this point back to back slow starts is a major cause for concern from a guy expected by many to be a middle of the order bat. Still Alderson has his work cut out for him this offseason as he has an outfield plus shortstop situation to sort out without any clear answers inside the organization to fill those spots. Making a bet that Ike could produce more consistent results next season makes sense since the Mets have enough to worry about without adding 1st base to the list.
The other end of the spectrum is if Ike showed no improvement from his stay in the minors. In this case Alderson would have to cut ties with his still arbitration eligible 1st baseman since he showed no hope of rebounding. While it would have been nice to keep Davis around in this scenario Davis just flat out did nothing to show that he was worth the bet for another year. The Mets could then use that flexibility to add a bat at 1st base which might be easier than adding in the outfield or shortstop. The point being that Alderson’s decision would be made for him by virtue of Ike’s poor performance.
The problem is that Davis is neither performing well nor performing badly. He has shown excellent plate discipline, as noted by Michael Baron. Yet this has not translated to hitting for much power. He has one homerun since the recall and if not for two doubles last night his .423 SLG would be even lower than it is now. Further cause for concern is that he is that he gets consistently beat by the fastball. Ike Davis has not been good but he has not been terrible. Combine his lackluster performance with concerns about slow starts creates a situation where Sandy Alderson will have to think long and hard about if he likes Ike in 2014.