New York Mets News

Lucas Duda vs. Ike Davis: Dog Days edition

By Will DeBoer

Twice this season we’ve examined the fallout of Lucas Duda’s ascension and Ike Davis’s trade. The first time, the Mets appeared to have made the correct decision. The second time, that decision was reinforced. Now, in the midst of the dog days of summer, we explore how much more the Mets’ gamble has paid off.

Aug 18, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (21) hits a solo home run during the fourth inning of a game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Lucas Duda

Season Totals: .255/.354/.487, 22 2B, 23 HR, 69 RBI, 54 BB, 99 SO

Projected 2014: .255/.354/.487, 30 2B, 32 HR, 94 RBI, 73 BB, 134 SO

Since All-Star Break (32 Games): .252/.359/.505, 1 2B, 9 HR, 20 RBI, 15 BB, 29 SO

Aug 12, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Ike Davis (15) hits an RBI double against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Ike Davis

Season Totals: .237/.352/.369, 15 2B, 8 HR, 39 RBI, 54 BB, 63 SO

Projected 2014: .237/.352/.369, 22 2B, 12 HR, 55 RBI, 77 BB, 89 SO

Since All-Star Break (29 Games): .250/.347/.467, 4 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 10 BB, 14 SO

Winner So Far: Duda (Duh-da)

Aug 12, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda (21) singles to deep right during the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve been calling the man “Big Dude” since he broke out in Texas three years back. No, it hasn’t caught on. But in the past month, Lucas Duda has finally become Big Dude. Duda has been knocking the cover off the ball. More importantly, he’s been knocking it to all fields and breaking the shifts. His 23 bombs this season are tied for fourth in the National League with ex-Met Marlon Byrd. He’s on pace to hit 32 home runs in 2014, and with a full season at his post-ASB pace, Duda would hit 46 round-trippers (and six doubles – your grain of salt). While he still needs to improve on hitting lefties, it is safe to say Lucas Duda is New York’s first baseman of the future.

As for the man who would have called first base his throne two years ago, Ike Davis has gone from king to jester in Pittsburgh. While he’s kept his strikeout totals down and had a month that would put him on pace for his rookie season numbers, he’s entered into a platoon with Gaby Sanchez and only really made headlines when Andy Martino explained why he was in Ike’s corner for so long. At this point, the only thing to think of when remembering Ike Davis is sorrow. I feel sorry for the guy. I feel bad that one freak injury three years ago in Colorado derailed what could’ve been a special career. The Mets lost their first baseman that day, and while Duda has now taken up the mantle, it’s hard not to long for what could have been.

We’ll check back on this in another month for our final update of the season. The questions to be answered: how much will Lucas Duda win the season race by, and will Ike Davis be able to rediscover himself in time for the Pirates’ playoff push? Only time will tell.