The New York Mets are relying on 26-year-old first baseman Ike Davis to regain his stroke in Las Vegas so he can return to his post in Flushing. While his struggles have led to his demotion, there aren’t many who believe that he’ll be in Las Vegas for long before returning to the big leagues with a vengeance. After all, Davis is a player who is only one year removed from blasting 32 home runs, and two years removed from putting himself in early MVP talks before he suffered an ankle injury that ended his season prematurely.
The question remains: How Can Ike Davis Be Trusted?
If Davis is able to rebound in Las Vegas in a relatively short period of time, how can he be trusted to produce at the big league level? If he is to be promoted and given consistent playing time once again, how large of a sample would he have earned before he breaks the newfound trust? Furthermore, if Davis were to come back and produce to his offensive potential, how can he be trusted in 2014 knowing full well the possibility that he will suffer a long and painful slump to begin the season?
These are all questions that may be uncomfortable to ask, but are very real. If Davis were to heat up in Las Vegas and eventually find himself back in Flushing this summer, how long of a leash would he be given assuming he struggles? Would he be thrust into the position until the conclusion of the season because it would be an embarrassment for the organization if he failed multiple times at the big league level even after the demotion? Would Davis be given all of four or five games before being given time to sit? The messages that the organization has sent this year regarding playing time to players has been confusing, at the very least.
Collin Cowgill was appointed the full-time center fielder on March 30th before being removed from the role after a 2-12 start that saw him blast a grand slam on Opening Day. He received inconsistent playing time from thereon out, but Jordany Valdespin is continuing to receive an ample sample size in the leadoff spot despite failing.
Juan Lagares was immediately thrust into a platoon with Rick Ankiel. The 23-year-old Lagares had yet to receive 40 major league plate appearances.
Daniel Murphy, despite being an above-average second baseman in 2013, was moved to second base while Lucas Duda is still patrolling left field. Duda has produced a -1.0 dWAR at the position, neutralizing his offense. If Duda were to be shifted to first, he would no longer be as large of a defensive liability and his offense would be more valuable to the club.
The organization is sending confusing messages. Naturally, Cowgill and Lagares may not possess the offensive potential that Davis boasts, but it’s hard to tell what decisions the organization may employ when it comes to Davis and his return.