While the Mets didn’t have a great weekend, Ike Davis sure did.
Davis hit a two-run homer in Sunday’s 11-6 loss, and now sports a 1.000 OPS for June in seven plate appearances over two days, following a combined April/May effort of .496. This is no surprise: Davis posted a .524 OPS in April and May last season, followed by an .878 OPS from June 1 through the end of the season.
Sure, as recently as 2011, Davis was a hot starter, with a .925 OPS over his first 36 games. But whatever transpired during the collision that ended his 2011 season, or Valley Fever, or just some antipathy to spring that has developed, one thing is clear: the Mets cannot rely on Ike Davis to hit until about the time school’s out.
Look, some people just don’t like springtime. It’s tax season. People have allergies. T.S. Eliot called April the “cruellest month”, both decrying it and misspelling cruelest. And while the Ides of March technically happen at the very end of winter, it’s not like that spring was any better for Julius Caesar. Or Brutus, for that matter.
So it is with Ike. The Mets could bury their heads in the sand. Or they could address this issue heading into 2014 head-on, by employing what this situation calls for: a spring/summer platoon.
One free agent this winter who has hit well in April/May is Paul Konerko. His .942 OPS is the eighth-best in baseball for April/May at-bats since 2010. But at 38, with a slow April/May in 2013, his days as spring platooner might be over.
Then there’s Travis Hafner, who has a .911 OPS in April/May since 2010. Alas, he hasn’t played first base since 2007, so the Mets would be taking a real chance by deploying him in the field. Then again, they do play Lucas Duda in the outfield, so they do have a bit of a YOLO approach to defense.
The real answer might be in-house. Lucas Duda has an .846 OPS in April and May for his career. Perhaps the Mets can simply start with Duda in 2014, and let him give way to Davis once we get a few weeks past Weather Education Day.
Or the Mets can pursue a first baseman who hits in spring and summer. There’s always that.