Ike Davis Has Been Really Good

Ike Davis had barely a full seasons worth of games under his belt before he missed almost all of last season with an ankle injury.  For someone that inexperienced maybe it’s not surprising he got off to such a poor start.  His second half has been amazin’ though, so it definitely gives you hope for next year.

 

Across the first third of the season Ike Davis was playing very badly.  He’d had a hot streak to end April and a couple of good games in a row to end May, but they didn’t last long.  On June 8th he finished the day batting .158.  This would represent the low point for Ike Davis on the season, and perhaps in his entire career.  If you recall this was during the time period that more and more of the fans and media were calling for Davis to be sent down to the minors.  The Mets had given him a vote of confidence to stave off the endless questions about demoting him, but even that was starting to wear off.

 

Then he had a nine game hitting streak including six RBI against the Rays, two home runs, and seven walks.  He did not have another multi-strikeout game again, something he’d been doing frequently, until a June 25th game against the Cubs in which he was fanned twice.  However, he also homered in that game for the Mets only run.

 

Since the start of that streak on June 9th (through September first when I’m writing this), Ike Davis has been awesome.  Specifically he’s been smashing the baseball as hard as anyone in the game.   He’s hitting .270/.336/.573 in those 71 games.  If he’d put up that slugging percentage for the entire year, he’d be 6th in all of baseball.   Granted this is picking and choosing endpoints, but 71 games is nearly half a season and represents a sizable chunk of Davis’ major league career.   He’s hit 20 home runs in those games, something that equates to 46 home runs over a full 162.   You’d like to see him walk a bit more, especially since as teams catch on that he’s hitting the ball as well as any slugger in the game the pitchers are going to make further adjustments to avoid giving him hittable pitches.  If he can lay off these pitches he’ll end up with more walks.  Hopefully it doesn’t take him two months to re-adjust next time.

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Release Jason Bay! Unless…

There are very very few people that think Jason Bay should be in the plans for the 2013 Mets.  I’m not even convinced Jason Bay thinks it.   On the other hand, the Mets need outfielders and Jason Bay technically qualifies as such.

 

He hit a home run last night which I believe brings his SLG up to .297.  Luis Castillo is a better slugger than that.  I truly believe the concussions may have had a huge effect on Jason Bay and that he’s still not right.  There’s so much we don’t know about concussions and the things you need to do to be a successful baseball player require a level of focus and reaction time that is based in the brain.  Reasons and excuses aside, the question remains as to whether Jason Bay has any chance at returning to being a capable major league outfielder, and if he can do so by early 2013 for the next time the Mets expect to play games that matter.

 

The time remaining in this season is not substantial, but it’s just enough to plant the seed of hope.  So I ask you, what can Jason Bay do in the remaining games on the schedule to make you believe their is a chance he can contribute next year.   I’m not asking for you to be convinced the Mets should keep him around, just what it would take for you to think “Maybe he can be a Scott Hairston next year..” and believe it.  10 home runs?  20?  An OPS of .900 the rest of the way?  Watching him consistently identify and crush bad pitches?

 

Remember that the Mets currently have pretty much none of their outfield spots set in stone for 2013, so the floor to make this team is theoretically pretty low.  Is it Jason Bay low?  Answer in the comments or tweet @ceetar.

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Wall Adjustments Do Not Make Mets Better

I’ve never really cared about the walls at Citi Field.  They are what they are for both teams, and the height and distance have both positives and negatives. My biggest concern is that if they were to change them, that they would do something stupid like just draw another orange line, or construct a makeshift fence in front of it and mess with the aesthetics.  Sandy Alderson’s comments on the broadcast last night seem to suggest that they’ll put a lot of thought into how to meld the chances into the structure if they do make changes.  Alderson mentioned that they’ve done a lot of research on it, and with three years worth of data to look at they’re a little more confident in the decisions they’re reaching off the data.  Opinions about home runs and wall height are one thing, but I’m happy any decision that’s made will be based off hard data. 

Personally, I like the changes Randy over at The Apple suggested.  A row of seating in front of the wall in left, and a fence in right that turns the Mo’s Zone from a forgotten group area to a cool place to watch the game.  Being able to watch the game from what would literally be field level would be a lot of fun.  San Francisco has a similar type area out in right field of their ballpark. 

Still, the changes do not make the Mets better.  If the Mets move the fences in, they’ll move the fences in for the opponent as well.  Jason Bay will still need to hit the ball hard consistently, and his failure to do so for much of his Mets tenure is not because of the walls.  The Mets still have some work to do to make the 2012 team a contending team, and all moving in the walls does is change the configuration of the boxscore.  David Wright and the Mets still need to hit the ball over them more often than their opponents to win a lot of games.

A side effect of this is that we can no longer call it the Great Wall of Flushing if it’s changed, and I was starting to really like that nickname.  I thought it was a fun inside joke.

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What Do You Need To See From Jason Bay?

Last week I posed a tongue-in-cheek relationship between how many home runs Jason Bay hits this season, and what record the Mets will be predicted to finish with next year.  He’s up to 12, good for an even 81-81 prediction.


He’s on another hot streak, where he’s actually driving the ball.  It’s good to see, but we’ve also seen it before.  He still seems to find ways to go into 0-30 stretches after getting hot, although the length of time between hot streaks seems to be lessening.  I can’t help but wonder if there were lingering effects of the concussion that even he wasn’t, or isn’t, aware of.


Regardless, the Mets could really use Jason Bay to be at least a contributing power threat next year.  I think if he can reach 15 home runs, and finish out September with numbers approaching his career averages on the month, that we can at least have some faith he’ll be useful next year.  His career line stands at

Year G PA AB H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
9 Seasons 1127 4758 4065 1113 227 202 705 583 1086 .274 .368 .493 .862 125
and his September numbers so far.
 
Split G GS PA AB H 2B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
Sept/Oct 7 6 25 24 7 2 2 4 1 5 .292 .320 .625 .945 15 .294 175 150


What do you need to see from him to not go into 2012 feeling he’s a black hole in the lineup? Is it completely hopeless?  Do you need him to rack up a couple more doubles? Five more home runs?  Less strikeouts? Avoid any double-digit o’fers?
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