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How To Outhit Miguel Batista

Posted By Howard Megdal On July 11, 2012 @ 7:27 am In Today's Mets headlines | Comments Disabled

Look, there’s plenty of negativity about Dillon Gee out there, and rightfully so. People are concerned about the blood clot in his pitching shoulder. The timeframe looks like months, not weeks, to get him back. We’ll wait and see, but it is a sad thing to have happen to a player who appeared to be breaking out in a big way this year.

His replacement in the starting rotation appears to be Miguel Batista, not Matt Harvey. Running Harvey out there, with just over 200 professional innings, carries risk, namely that he’ll fail to properly and fully develop. See Pelfrey, Mike for more details. Pitching Batista carries with it ample risk, too, the biggest being the act of Batista pitching itself.

So while the offense hasn’t been a problem- far from it, the Mets are third in the National League in runs scored- they’ll need to score some more runs to help race past an opposition who will get the chance to face Batista, Jeremy Hefner or Chris Schwinden instead of Dillon Gee for a while.

Fortunately, Daniel Murphy is here to help. Over his past 12 games, Murphy is hitting .455/.457/.818. The power he’s displayed this season is mostly tied up in that span-all three of his home runs, and nine of his 28 extra base hits, were accumulated in his past 42 plate appearances.

As for Ike Davis, he’s been hitting like the Mets hoped Davis would for a solid month. Since June 9, Davis is hitting .294/.351/.686, which is encouraging for all sorts of reasons. Obviously, there’s the power. But the patience is merely okay- 8.4 percent of his plate appearances ended in walks. If I were guessing, I’d say that was because the Davis who missed everything for two months led pitchers to challenge him more.

But wait, there’s more! He’s only struck out in 19 percent of his plate appearances, which is quite good for a guy with a slugging percentage approaching .700 over that span. And he’s doing this on a batting average on balls in play of just .295, suggesting that there’s nothing inflated about his results based on luck.

So as the Mets ponder how to stay in the race without Dillon Gee, for at least a time, they’ll need to find some answers on the offensive side of the equation. In Murphy and Davis, they may have some of those solutions in-house already.

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