From the desk of: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
NEW YORK METS: Now, Pittsburgh Likes Ike. The Long Running Davis Dilemma Is Over.
We hardly know ya, but one can only hold out hope for so long.
The lengthy off-season process which began with haste during the GM meetings, finally culminated Friday night, when the Mets beleaguered first baseman was sent to the Pirates in exchange for (rhp) Zack Thornton, and a player to be named later.
Whether Ike Davis finds success in the Steel City is inconsequential when pitted against the reasons why he was traded in the first place.
He followed up a fine rookie debut in 2010, with a lone burst of power in the second half of the 2012 season. Otherwise, his time in Flushing as been defined by ineptitude at the plate, or so it seemed. He was consistently hovering near the Mendoza line, and last year, averaged a strikeout in 32% of his plate appearances.
No one is sure what really "happened" to Ike Davis. What we do know, is that he was never the same after colliding with David Wright on a pop up near Citi Field's mound in 2011, and injured his lower leg and ankle. Then came a bout with the obscure Valley Fever. Then, he was felled by an oblique injury. None of that however, really explains anything.
Nonetheless, during five baffling injury riddled seasons in Flushing, Ike Davis never seized the moment, or the first base job for that matter. For his part, Lucas Duda has demonstrated better plate discipline and consistency than Ike, and so the club ultimately placed their favor with him.
Many Mets fans, including myself, had high hopes for Ike. Davis was the Mets #1 pick, and the 18th overall selection of the 2008 draft. We thought the Mets had their clean-up hitter for years to come. Many of his home runs were majestic, with some even reaching the Shea Bridge. But, he never quite got his game together, and fell out of favor with Sandy Alderson.
Besides, carrying three first basemen became untenable. This trade is addition by subtraction. Josh Satin's role will normalize, and Lucas Duda will no longer pose a potential traffic jam in the outfield.
This is the second time Sandy Alderson has found a trade partner in Pittsburgh. Last season, Alderson acquired Vic Black and Dilson Herrera from the Pirates, in exchange for John Buck and Marlon Byrd.
Matt Harvey is now the lone player remaining from Omar Minaya's top draft picks. Mike Pelfrey was drafted #1 in 2005. With a pair of Comp-A picks in 2007, Omar selected Eddie Kuntz and Nathan Vineyard. Ike and Reese Havens were both selected in the first round in 2008, along with Comp-A pick, Brad Holt. And of course, Matt Harvey was drafted in 2010 with the Mets #1 pick.