Sandy Alderson looks forward to competition at 1B

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Sandy Alderson expects Ike Davis and Lucas Duda to be in camp together for Spring Training, he told SNY earlier this week in Chicago.

“We’re going to have some competition at first base,” he said. “It’s possible both will be on the team and, if they are, I think it’s important to have some flexibility in how they’re used.”

Duda DavisAccording to Alderson, it’s possible Duda could see time in the outfield, as well.

“W’re looking forward to the competition,” Alderson said, referring to a position battle at first base.

The Mets are not alone. In November, I mentioned how a mix-and-match, put-guys-in-the-best-position-to-succeed strategy is emerging across baseball, according to several people familiar with the market and front-office thinking. 

“There is a premium on offense right now, especially power,” an NL source told me, after pointing out that fewer runs were scored last year than at any point in the last decade. It’s a common theme. He pointed to success last year in Oakland, Boston, St. Louis and Tampa — and the Yankees to a certain extent — who routinely used multiple lineups, platoons and rotated players.

It’s a market strategy that lead to the Reds giving Skip Schumaker, 34, a two-year, $10 million deal. Last year, he hit .262 in just 125 games for the Dodgers, but played second base and all three outfield positions.

In a talk with reporters during the Winter Meetings, Alderson said, “We’re looking for is eight players who give us our offensive package without completely sacrificing the defense.”

In looking at the likely 25-man, it’s clear we can expect to watch rotating platoon at first base, left and center field.

Thankfully, according to research by Kevin Brennan, a reader of MetsBlog, the Mets can feature a better-than-league average .318 OBP when using Davis at first and Duda in left against right-handed pitching, while turning to Josh Satin at first and Chris Young in right against left-handed pitching.

Brennan’s projections are based on three-year platoon splits, and Fangraphs projections for players who are less established. He also factored in the pitchers spot (assuming a .200 OBP), and the difference in at bats based on batting order using the NL averages from last year. “These are, of course, rough estimates,” he said.

Of course, I can’t see the Mets trusting Duda to patrol the outfield for 100 games a year. That would be insane. He’s fielding is so bad it would essentially negate anything he brings to the plate. Instead, I’m sure Terry Collins, Alderson and every pitcher on the team will always prefer to have Young, Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares behind them. So, how this puzzle fits together remains to be seen…




110 comments
Balonius
Balonius

SA should just stop talking publicly. It would make all this settling for the same bad players as last year a bit easier to take. It makes waiting for all the Wilpons to pass away shorter, too. 


It would have been better to cut the dead wood and start the season with unknowns rather than going into the season knowing that Duda is a horrible outfielder, but he'll get playing time there. Ike is horrible all around, but he'll most likely win the 1B job and that Tejada, publicly denounced by the GM just 4 months ago, is our only current option and probable starting SS on 3/31.

openmind6
openmind6

Is Wilmer Flores still on the Team?

A Pocono View_
A Pocono View_

may th ebest man win..(fine w/ that) but if Tc does the 2 days on, 1 day off...flip flop..that doesn't help anyone.And Duda in Of..really?

William John Dwyer
William John Dwyer

I think we all get the Mets have a gaping hole at 1B.  Ike needs to take it back with his bat...I don't trust Duda as far as I can throw him.  Maybe I am wrong, but 1B just doesn't seem like a position you platoon. (The AL with the DH I can see, but not the NL).  It just seems wrong.

Mickey Jennifer Wind
Mickey Jennifer Wind

Chris Young is getting paid.  Chris Young is  not platooning.  Duda will not see more than 20 games in the OF.  Many of them are games he did not start there. 

hankypanky
hankypanky

Odd how rotating platoons and mix-and-match is current throughout baseball. Collins did it with a weak line-up last season and was villified by the cranks on this blog every day.

nym4lyfe
nym4lyfe

The simple fact we're still discussing Duda in the OF means this has been an unsuccessful offseason.

dexx
dexx

Well then let's see if Ike can play the OF.  I don't see why we can't let Ike make a fool of himself in the OF if we made Duda do it.  Ike is not working out at 1B, and we haven't given Duda his shot at 1B yet. Put Ike in LF and see how good of defensive player he is then.  I'm sure we will have a much better appreciation for Duda after we see that comedy routine.

dexx
dexx

Still just posturing to try and gain some level of interest for Ike.  He's gonna trade Ike or cut him before opening day.  Sandy's just trying to gain any sort of leverage he can after waiting too long to move Ike.

Kevin VanTassell
Kevin VanTassell

There's got to be a lot done between now and March 31st. They don't have a lead off hitter, they have tried to trade their 1b and 2b and replace their ss all with failed results. They have gone from Duda should never be in the outfield again to back in the outfield. I just think there's more moves that will happen before opening day.

sell
sell

"...according to several people familiar with the market and front-office thinking."


This isn't a criminal investigation.  Is there any reason why your sources are always so anonymous and vague?

Richard Heaton
Richard Heaton

Let's just put Satin at first. Let's compare how Satin fares against Manny Machado.


Machado, the American League Doubles champ averaged one double every 13.07 AB's while Satin averaged one double every 12.66 AB's.


Over the course of 600 AB's, machado would hit 14 Home Runs while Satin would trail just a bit with 10.


Machado's batting average is just 4 points higher than Satin's, however Satin's OBP is a whopping 62 points higher than that of Machado. At .376, only 18 MLB players had a higher OBP than Satin, and only David Wright had a higher OBP on the Mets.


Over the course of 600 PA's, Satin would have walked 95 times, while Machado only walked 29 times in 710 PA's. Only 4 players have walked more than 95 times, three of them made the All Star team and two of them have won a Silver Slugger award.



owlnut
owlnut

Duda in the outfield? Can't think of a player MORE out of position. He can barely be a first baseman but really stinks as an outfielder.

sickntired
sickntired

How pathetic are we??!?!? Minor league competition for 1b! Anyone that bats over 220, hits 10hrs and drives in 60 wins job. How sad. Sell the team!!

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

Uncle! I give up! I have tried to defend SA relentlessly. HODGES14, you were right, I am giving in!

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

Duda back in left? Can't do that, just can't.


Competition amongst losers for starting 1B - that's something to look forward to. Boy, can't wait!

texasmetsfan
texasmetsfan

Did I hear that correctly?  Duda back in the outfield???  

mike23
mike23

And what if both Ike and Duda are horrible at the plate, do they give Flores a full time shot at 1b. Knowing the mets they would put Satin at 1b instead which would be very annoying, if not Davis or Duda mets either have to give Flores a real chance over there or they will need to make a trade for a quality 1b. Also, Duda in the outfield are they nuts, have they seen him out there, no way should he step a foot in the outfield, mets have enough players to man the outfield so unless there is a strange injury etc...(even if there was i'd hope mets would have better solutions than to put duda in the outfield). 

Christopher Onzo
Christopher Onzo

Duda and Davis... they are a bumbling comedy team right? What a joke! Duda isn't even a 1B!

hankincolo
hankincolo

I think it's interesting that Curtis Granderson mentions Ike Davis along with David Wright as a guy who can play the game.  

Michael Suna
Michael Suna

Why this team has so many 1B types is because they can't draft position players well. I can't think of one in the past few years. The SS they drafted isn't even on the top 100 when Russell and Seager are both there. Also the OF they drafted hasn't done that much. It is all potential instead of realization!

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

LOL, the Mets are now highlighting "research" from Metsblog readers.  In all of this bountiful research, can we please get the details on how Josh Satin will be a productive member of any platoon?  His numbers were nothing special last year, he has 0 power, and his BABIP was one point away against lefties from being the best of all time if it was for a full season.  The person he'd be behind was Babe Ruth...of course.  So please, let's gets some more info on this.

William John Dwyer
William John Dwyer

@dexx I don't see it as SA "waiting too long" to move Ike.  You need a trade partner to make a trade, and it's obvious that SA wasn't just going to trade him for the sake of trading him.  I certainly haven't heard of a potential trade that SA just waited on, and failed to make happen.


It now makes sense to bring him north and let him gain some value back...(maybe you haven;t noticed, he has ZERO value right now).  THEN you deal him by the deadline.  Unless the plan is to platoon them, hope they both get hot, and deal one of them by the deadline.  That I can see.

dexx
dexx

@kefhrny17 Yeah let's put Davis out there, and see how that works.

Coq de Pierre
Coq de Pierre

@sell   Because literally ANYONE fits the description "people familiar with the market and front-office thinking." You, me, that dude over there...  sportswriters have come up with these meaningless attributions to give themselves content for articles.

Cerrone, never an original thinker, can apply it to his "insiders,"like the guy who gave him the Braun-for-Ike scoop.

sickntired
sickntired

Are you serious???!?! You comparing Satin with Machado? You've been drinking too much of the koolaide.

hashburry
hashburry

@Richard Heaton You aren't seriously comparing these players, are you?  What do you think would happen if Satin was given 600 ABs?  He' be exposed as a bench player who would get eaten alive by above average to great righties and probably struggle against average ones.  Now if you could get him 600 ABs against lefties, you may have something.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Wayne Martiak Jr I thought I read that Sandy would walk away after this year when his contract is up and that JP was going to take over?

bklyndude
bklyndude

@Tarheel11  It's not Alderson. 

It's easy to spend money if it's available to the GM.  I have to think the GM is allowed to spend to a certain number and that's it.......bargain bin after that.

Hodges14
Hodges14

@Tarheel11 Sandy is here to put lipstick on the pig that is the NY Mets franchise.  There's no plan other than spinning a terrible situation so they fabricated a story about a decade long rebuilding process to buy themselve time and hope a miracle occurred.

Sports Justice
Sports Justice

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zoddie
zoddie

Yes he is. C'mon man, pay attention.

ktb1229
ktb1229

@BringBackDaveTelghe If lack of power is your argument, in terms of power, Davis only has 12 career homers against lefties (in 440 PAs). Last year he had 1 against LHP. I think Satin can scrounge together 2 or 3 homers, don't you?

ktb1229
ktb1229

@BringBackDaveTelghe Over the past 3 seasons, davis averaged a .225 OBP against leftys. The point of a platoon is to minimize players weaknesses. Technically as long as Satin has a higher OBP than Davis against lefties, the platoon will be more effective than Davis playing 162 games.

John J. Cucci III
John J. Cucci III

@dexx Trade is not an option, obviously.  I just don't see the sense in cutting him out of camp.  Bring him north and give him one last shot. If he's on the interstate by the end of may, cut ties and bring up The Dude.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@bklyndude @Tarheel11 I have defended SA with everyone here. Absolved him from everything. Can't do it anymore. This whole Duda/Davis spin has pushed me over the edge. 

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@ktb1229 Last year Satin had just 98 plate apps vs lefty, a sample size that is largely irrelevant. However, he had a .317 / .404 / .476 slash line. Looks good...right?

His BABIP was .424 last year....the numbers he put up were purely the result of luck. As I said somewhere else in this post, if that was for an entire season he'd be one point away from a .425 babip that Babe Ruth put up one season. Now...considering he had 10 doubles and a homer in 98 plate apps it was hardly like he was scalding the ball. Regression to the norm is going to hit this guy and hit this guy hard. Vs lefties this season, if he put up a .250 / .320 / .420 line I'd be impressed. Those numbers have no place on this team.

Sports Justice
Sports Justice

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Robert Hess
Robert Hess

@ktb1229What happens most times is that later in games that the starting player gets pinch hit for by his platoon player and Terry will find himself having used up his bench (and a crappy one at that) should they go into the 8th, 9th and extra innings. Sandy is a spin and rhetoric artist par excellence. First he bashes Tejada now he's the starting shortstop..  And they bring back the tandem player in Omar who did absolutely nothing last year but be the other half of the worst SS combo in the majors.  Please make this madness stop.  Sandy is just a puppet for the Wilpons hanging around to take over Selig's spot.  This roster makes me sick to my stomach!

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@ktb1229 No, that's not right at all.  Past performance doesn't necessarily dictate future outcomes.

I'm being careful the way I phrase it because I'm no longer an Ike supporter and don't think he's a major league regular at all....but if a guy like Ike actually had shown some ability and could possibly improve vs lefties, he should be allowed to except against the dominating shut down guys.  Especially when the alternative is 28 year old minor leaguer that had a luck-fueled weak campaign in 2013 that wasn't anything to write home about.

dexx
dexx

@BringBackDaveTelghe@ktb1229 Are you trying to argue for Ike Davis getting ABs vs LHP?  Dude.  He shouldn't even be getting ABs vs RHP.  What kind of joke are you trying to play?  Is it April already?

ktb1229
ktb1229

@BringBackDaveTelghe I'm not making the case that Satin is a good player. What I am saying is that given the current roster construction, it statistically makes sense to platoon Ike and Satin, rather than play Ike against both LHP and RHP.

ktb1229
ktb1229

@BringBackDaveTelghe You are aware that there are entire sites dedicated to past performances of different stocks and that many people use that data to make informed investment decisions, yes? 

ktb1229
ktb1229

@BringBackDaveTelghe What a load of garbage. Looking a past performance is probably the most accurate way to gauge future performance.