The Other Shoe Finally Drops On Ike Davis

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Amid the disappointment and embarrassment Ike Davis presumably feels following yesterday’s demotion from the Mets to Triple A Las Vegas is probably an unadmitted sense of relief that the Mets finally pulled the trigger and made good on the threats that have been issued multiple times for a year. Now there is no longer the looming prospect of it happening—it happened—and Davis can go to Triple A, clear his head and get himself straight.

It’s the epitome of arrogance for outsiders in the media, on social media and for laypeople of every ilk to diagnose what’s “wrong” with Davis. He’s changing his swing, stance and everything else based on the last bit of advice he received, the last time he hit the ball hard and felt comfortable at the plate. It’s made him into a toxic mess and a lefty bat who was once a feared power hitter has been regularly pinch hit for in key situations by journeymen like Justin Turner. Going to Triple A is the best thing for him and the club.

This is clearly a short-term move and Davis will be back as soon as he has a sustained run of success. By success I don’t necessarily mean a load of hits and home runs, but success can mean looking as if he has a clue at the plate, commanding the strike zone, playing defense as if he’s not thinking about his last at bat, and hitting the ball hard. If the Mets had any intention of leaving Davis in the minors longer than a few weeks, they wouldn’t have immediately put the kibosh on the most obvious personnel move in shifting Lucas Duda to first base. As it is, they’re apparently going to recall Josh Satin and give him a chance.

Satin, 28, has been a productive hitter in the minor leagues since being drafted by the Mets’ prior front office regime in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. He has a career minor league slash line of .303/.398/.465 and 10-15 home run pop. But is he a big league prospect or a 4-A player who’s interchangeable with the last guy on the roster? There are two ways to look at Satin: 1) he’s a borderline big leaguer who can hit Triple A pitching and be an extra bat off the bench; or 2) he’s a player who is in the Scott Hatteberg/Moneyball tradition of someone who has a good eye, some power and needs little more than a chance to play to prove himself.

Put it this way: if it were the latter, some other club would’ve picked him up or the Mets would’ve given him a shot to get some at bats as a utility player. He’s a stopgap whereas moving Duda to first and playing Jordany Valdespin/Kirk Nieuwenhuis/Juan Lagares in left and center field would imply permanence to the Davis demotion.

Davis’s popularity in the Mets clubhouse will certainly inspire sadness that he was demoted, but even the most ardent Davis supporter and friend can’t defend a .161 batting average, a .500 OPS and 5 homers with 1 since April. He’s been equally bad against righties and lefties and there’s no justification for keeping him in the majors if this is what he’s giving them.

Being well-liked is fine, but it must be remembered that this isn’t a popularity contest. The Giants players hated Barry Bonds with a passion…until he stepped into the batters box where, even in the days before he evidently touched a PED, he boasted an OPS of 1.000 and above on an annual basis. Keeping Davis in the big leagues through this struggle was no longer serving any purpose other than making it appear as if the inmates were running the asylum and with a team that’s playing as poorly as the Mets, that can’t continue. The first step toward real accountability is the long-overdue decision to demote Davis. If you don’t hit, you don’t play. Davis didn’t hit and he won’t play in the big leagues for awhile. It’s that simple.

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2 thoughts on “The Other Shoe Finally Drops On Ike Davis

  1. I’m always amazed at people “scouting” minor league players without having seen them play, but let me make this very simple.
    As an athlete all you can do is perform. Whether OTHERS consider you a prospect or not, is out of your hands.

    And baseball is far and away the WORST of all sports in the scouting department. How many “can’t” misses can you name? It’s unlimited.

    And yet, time and again, players perform in the minors but never get a legitimate shot b/c they have been labeled non prospects.

    The bottom line is performance. Ike has stunk, and I mean stunk, including the second half of last year, for 2 years, and Satin has continued to hit and get on base.

    You’d think an intelligent guy like Alderson might have said at some point, we have a 10% success rate at best, why not take a flyer? At this point, it may well be too late to fix the almost unlimited number of hitches in Ike’s swing and his awful approach at the plate.

    1. Satin’s a fringe big leaguer at best and since they’ve moved Daniel Murphy to first base, the initial thing they’re going to do is look at Jordany Valdespin at second. That pretty much says what they think of Satin. He’s not the answer. What they have to determine is whether they truly believe Ike is the answer and no one seems to know, least of all Ike.
      The point you bring up is one of Ike’s biggest issues: he’s listening to everyone when he should just get back to doing what he knows how to do and hit. THe demotion might clear Ike’s mind because he no longer has to press and worry about it. It happened. After getting past the embarrassment and hurt pride, he might realize that it’s a relief that they finally did it and he doesn’t have to answer questions about it anymore. As far as being sent to the minors, there are far worse places to be sent than Las Vegas. He won’t be bored.

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