Could this be the opportunity for Ike Davis to be the Mets starting 1st baseman? Not for now, at least. With the news coming down today that Mets starting 1st baseman Daniel Murphy has a grade 1 MCL sprain of his right knee, questions of who will be the opening day starter are floating around. Murphy is supposed to be sidelined for 2-6 weeks, although the injury is not considered too serious. Mets GM Omar Minaya says Mike Jacobs is the front-runner to start the season at 1st base. Minaya also says that a prolonged absence for Murphy could prompt the organization to bring back prospect Ike Davis from minor league camp, but he will start the season in AAA regardless. Frank Catalanotto, Chris Carter, and Jacobs have been battling in camp for the final bench spot, all have 1st base experience. Last season Jacobs, who was released by the Royals in December, struggled in 434 at-bats, hitting .229 with 19 homeruns and 61 RBI.
1st base candidates spring training stats:
Murphy– .196 (10-51) 2HR, 8RBI, 3BB, 9K .228OBP .314SLG
Jacobs– .194 (7-36) 2 2B, 2HR, 4RBI, 7BB, 7K .326OBP .417SLG
Carter– .407 (11-27) 2 2B, 4HR, 9RBI, 2BB, 3K .448OBP .926SLG
Catalanotto– .214 (6-28) 3 2B, 1 3B, 1HR, 7RBI, 3BB, 4K .324OBP .500SLG
Davis– .480 (12-25) 3 2B, 3 HR, 10RBI, 3BB, 8K .536OBP .960SLG
At least for the short term, Jacobs is the logical choice. Jacobs has the most experience, and is familiar with the NL East. Davis and Carter have clearly had the most impressive spring performances. I believe that everyone in the organization realizes that Davis will be the long-term solution at 1st base. If Davis gets off to a good start, and Jacobs struggles, we could see Davis on the fast track to Queens. No one ever wants to see a guy injured, especially the hard working Murphy, but this maybe a blessing in disguise, opening the door to see Ike Davis in a Met uniform.