Murphy Out- Ike Davis In?

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.

There are 9 comments

  1. buenosdiazfive

    Nice work. I’d love to see the kid in the bigs! But let him earn it. Like you said, if he’s raking in AAA, and Jacobs is struggling as he is this spring, as well as last year, then why not? That said, Carter has made a great case for himself as well.

    Youth brings excitement into the clubhouse. After the last couple of seasons, we could use something to be excited about. Sometimes on the job training is the best we to develop. I’m sure Ike will struggle from time to time with major league pitchers, but I think he is on the cusp of being major league ready. ‘Blessing in disguise’ is hitting the ball on the sweet spot.

    1. ihob

      I agree with Grendal on this one. Though the sample is small I think Carter deserves a shot. He’s performed well and has yet to be given a real shot in the majors. Worse comes to worse he or Jacobs are trade chips when Murphy/Davis are on the roster. I like having the power that Jacobs and Carter can offer rather than Cats. I understand Cats is more versatile in terms of positions, but we do have players waiting in the wings to fill the spots he could play. I just wish they gave Carter more looks at first and against better pitching than what he has been up against so far. Carter could spell Frankie against righties from time to time too.

      I mean we did trade Wagner for Carter, I hope it was for a reason, rather than miss out on early round draft picks for compensation and make Wagner happy. That would just be yet another fumble by our highly regarded GM, HOORAY DECISION MAKING!

      1. Toby Hyde

        I guarantee that, with similar playing time, Carter’s OBP will be higher than Jacobs. Take it to the bank.

      2. theperfectgame

        Of the 222 MLBers with 400 PAs 2009, Jacobs finished with the 206th best OBP. Of the 213 MLBers with 400 PAs in 2008, Jacobs finished with the 203rd best OBP.So yeah, I’d say that’s a safe bet.

        P.S. – I know I’m a little late to the party in checking it out, but I love fangraphs so much, that I want to take it behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

      3. KevnCt

        Toby,
        Is Carter a psycho or something……or his defense so bad that don’t want him on the field??? I just can’t understand why you get what you can for Wagner….the guy clearly outproduces his rivals this spring….and Jake is the favorite to make the team. If nothing else, with Ike as the future, and Murph without a position, you try to showcase Carter for a couple of weeks. If he produces, you may have established some trade value. Everyone knows what Jake is….. I just don’t get it.

      4. Michael Diaz

        Kevin: Carter is not the best defender wherever you put him. He is known as a hitter, and a below average defender in the OF and 1B. For a short term solution, I would put him there ahead of Jacobs. Carter has put up impressive #’s his whole career in the minors, and this spring training. Not sure what upper management is thinking, both Jacobs and Carter are both defensive liabilities. The only thing I can think of is they want to go with the more proven guy, more MLB experience. Other than that I have no clue what’s their rationale.

      5. KevnCt

        Mike…understood that neither will have fans thinking about Mex or Beltran, but I just can’t see how Jake’s experience makes up for the upside Carter may have at the plate and the downside to Jake at the plate.

      6. Michael Diaz

        No disagreement here. Its the front office and coaching staff that makes some of these puzzling decisions. I try and find what kind of thought process they have, and its really tough to figure out.

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