New York Mets News

Outside Replacements for Ike

By Unknown author

Ike Davis has been out since May 10, but fans received even worse news yesterday, when the team revealed that Davis would need to be placed in a walking boot for three weeks. Knowing the Mets, three weeks could very well turn into two or three months–which means the Mets would be without one of their best hitters for a long period of time. With the likes of Dan Murphy, Nick Evans, and potentially Lucas Duda filling-in for Ike, the Mets will most certainly receive below-average production from first base until Davis is ready to come back. Given the lack of “ready” first base depth in the New York Mets system, it might make sense for the team to look outside the organization for stop-gap relief.

Dan Johnson: Losing your starting job to Casey Kotchman hardly bodes well for your future in baseball, but Dan Johnson could still offer the Mets some potential pop from the first base position. Johnson’s days as a “can’t miss” prospect for the Oakland Athletics are long gone–and his dismal .115/.179/.167 line this season certainly solidified that reality–but he did smack seven homeruns in just 140 plate appearances, and posted a more impressive .198/.343/.414 line in 2010. Johnson is currently sitting in Triple-A (after clearing waivers), so it’s fair to assume it wouldn’t take a bounty to pluck him.

Kila Ka’aihue: Kila has seemingly been a “prospect” in the Royals minor league system forever, but after the Hawaiin-born slugger posted a .319/.463/.598 line with 24 homeruns, 78 RBI, and 67 runs-scored in 416 plate appearances last season in Triple-A, Kila was on many people’s “sleeper” list going into 2011. However, the Royals didn’t waste much time calling-up their superior first base prospect, Eric Hosmer, after Ka’aihue slumped badly (.195/.295/.317 line in 96 plate appearances). With Hosmer in the fold (and Billy Butler at DH), there’s no room for Kila on the Royals major league roster. Kansas City might initially ask for respectable prospects, but their leverage is suspect considering how little faith they have in him.

Chris Davis: Similar to Kila, Chris Davis has long been the Rangers best minor league slugger (and disappointing major league hitter). Despite posting as many as 36 homeruns in a single minor league season, Davis has been stifled by major league pitching time and time again (.248/.302/.460 career line). Considering Mitch Moreland has secured his starting position at first base, and Michael Young/Mike Napoli own the majority of DH at-bats, it is pretty obvious Davis is not in the Rangers long-term plans. The Rangers might point to his young age (25) and impressive minor league stats during any trade negotiations, but the fact remains that he has yet to prove he’s a capable major league hitter despite ample opportunities.

Ty Wigginton: The Rockies acquired an astounding amount of bench players during this past off-season, and Ty Wigginton was one of them. The utility-man and former Mets prospect enjoyed a contract-earning season in Baltimore last year by posting a .248/.312/.415 line with 22 homeruns, 76 RBI, and 63 runs-scored. The Rockies inked Wiggy to a two-year, eight million dollar contract, but the Rox have already made it known that they’d like to give Eric Young, Chris Nelson, and other younger players Wigginton’s (and other veteran bench players) roster spot. Wigginton’s .261/.312/.461 line with 5 homeruns, 16 RBI, 15 runs-scored, and 3 stolen bases so far this season aren’t the best of his career, but the guy has made a living off being a short-term replacement, and he would also make a terrific bench player once Davis returned.

Xavier Nady: Ever since the Mets traded Nady to the Pirates for Oliver Perez back in 2006, there has been at least one rumor about his return to Queens every season. Well, here’s the start of the 2011 rumors. At age 32, Nady is no longer considered a candidate for full-time at-bats–even in Arizona, where he currently backs-up Juan Miranda–but that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t make a competent rental for the Mets. In limited chances for the Diamondbacks this season, Nady has posted a .276/.326/.368 line with 1 homerun, 16 RBI, 12 runs-scored, and 2 stolen bases. While his power hasn’t arrived yet, he does have four double-digit homerun seasons to his name–including 25 jacks in 2008. Considering the Diamondbacks are fond of Miranda (and have already released veteran Russell Branyan), their sentimental attachment to Nady appears to be at a minimum.