They’re just six games into the 2014 season, but the New York Mets have already started three different players at first base.
The three — Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, and Josh Satin — are a combined 6-for-25 (.240) with three home runs, eight runs batted in, and 10 strikeouts. These are the type of numbers you’d expect from a three-player rotation, regardless of position. Take away Davis’ walk-off, pinch-hit grand slam and the numbers are significantly worse.
The model for any successful team is to have some sort of consistency, but the Mets have strayed from this idea in a big way. Last year, they stuck with Davis for 103 games despite his paltry .205 batting average and lackluster power numbers (nine HR, 33 RBI).
Is Davis the answer to their first base issues in 2014? In four games, he’s batting .500 (4-for-8) with a double, one home run and four runs batted in. Davis has performed well thus far — he’s four for his last six and collected two of the team’s four hits in their 2-1 loss to the Reds on Sunday.
Again, it’s been just six games and is by no means time to panic but from a player’s perspective, a little reassurance goes a long way.
Duda, meanwhile, has supplied some pretty good pop with two home runs (in a 4-3 win over the Reds) but those are his only two hits in 16 plate appearances. And he’s struck out seven times or 43.8 percent of the time. So, almost half the time he brings a bat to the batter’s box, he’s not producing, not advancing a runner, and really not doing the Mets any good. But the threat is there, right?
The other player with a start at first, Satin, was 0-for-3 in the second game of the season against the Nationals and is really only an option if either Davis or Duda goes down.
So what are the Mets going to ultimately do with their first base situation — platoon the entire year, pick a starter and stick with him, or make a trade? It seems like no one in the organization wants to make the call.
The Mets have been consistent with one thing — sub-.500 records. Last year’s 3rd-place finish was their best since 2008, when they finished second behind the Phillies, which also happens to be the last time the Mets finished with a winning record.
It’s time for someone, somewhere, to make a decision and see how it plays out.