Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Ike losing hold of 1B?
By Adam Rubin
WASHINGTON -- The Mets have been resolute in dismissing the minors as an option for Ike Davis, but Terry Collins is not promising an indefinite starting role at first base.
With Jason Bay now having returned from the disabled list, Collins was asked if he might consider using Lucas Duda at first base, which would alleviate some of the outfield crowding.
The manager's response: "Not yet."
So when then?
"I don't know," Collins added. "Good question. If I had an answer, I'd give it to you."
With the Mets playing in American League ballparks for six straight games beginning Friday -- at Yankee Stadium and Tampa Bay -- that will alleviate much of the short-term need to have to cram outfielders into three starting spots.
So perhaps the date to watch is June 15, when the Mets host the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. If Davis isn't performing by then, conceivably Duda begins chipping away at his playing time at first base so that Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Bay, Andres Torres and Scott Hairston can get enough at-bats in the outfield.
Davis' .160 average is the worst of any position player in the majors who qualifies for batting-title consideration. He is 0-for-his-last-12.
Davis already is sitting against left-handed pitching for the most part. He has been on the bench five of the past six games the Mets faced a left-handed starter -- the exception coming against Philadelphia's Cole Hamels on May 28. The Mets next face a southpaw Sunday, when Andy Pettitte starts for the Yankees.
Duda recently has taken ground balls at first base. For now, Collins said, that is just designed to keep him sharp in case a double-switch requires an in-game shift there.