Mets designated first baseman Mike Jacobs for assignment.
Signed to a minor league deal this offseason, Jacobs had a golden opportunity to seize the starting first base job in New York after Daniel Murphy went down. Instead, he hit 208/.296/.375 in 24 at-bats, some of which came in the cleanup spot, where Jerry Manuel started him on Opening Day. The guess here is that Ike Davis is about to receive a promotion, leaving Jacobs, likely to clear waivers with the way he has played the last two years, the starting first baseman at Triple-A. His days as a starter in the major leagues appear to be over. Thank god.
Mets designated first baseman Mike Jacobs for assignment.
**Updated** About two minutes after I posted this blog I saw that David Lennon of Newsday tweeted that Ike Davis will be sent down today.***
I started writing this post worried that this topic had been written to death already. Then the more I looked around the more is started to hear a common call for Ike Davis to start on Opening Day. I am a big Ike Davis fan and I definitely hope we see him at Citi Field sooner rather then later, but here is why I feel Daniel Murphy has to be the Opening Day First Baseman for the NY Mets.
Everyone has been yelling and screaming about how the Mets need more pitching. They do, it’s obvious. Well since the Wilpons hid the checkbook how do you get one? Well the only avenue I see is via a trade. In order to do that you need chips. So unless you want to see another Kazmir-for-Zambrano mugging, you need to have some young major-league-ready type players. I don’t want to see the Mets touch any of the names we have been talking about all season: FMart, Davis, or Mejia. So to be able to pull off any trade we gotta find some young quality somewhere.
And obvious idea points to Daniel Murphy. When you sit down and look at it you raelize that the best case scenario is that Murphy will be a Met for only this year and then he’s gone. That’s the best scenario, that’s if he produces at the plate and plays a decent glove in the field. Enough to convince the Mets brass to leave Davis in AAA for the year. If Murphy struggles, it could end a lot sooner then that.
What they need to do is give Murphy the starting job, let him prepare for opening day starting now. Give him a few months to see what he can do. It’s obvious that Ike Davis is the Mets future at 1st base, and he might be the near-future too. So lets let Murphy proove he can hit in the bigs and build up some value. This way he can be used as a chip in a future trade down the line sometime between the All-Star break and the trade deadline. Murphy is a young guy with a lot of talent (at least the plate) and his contract is cheap. He’s the kind of guy a lot of small markets like and would take in a trade. It might be enough to offset the cost of acquiring a decent arm at the price of a big prospect. A package of Murphy and a longer-range prospect might do it, you never know.
If you bench Murphy now in favor of Ike Davis, who has totally dominated the spring training competition, you have basically given up on Murphy and totally wasted the investment you made in him last year. The Mets committed themselves to Murphy last year, and it’s silly to cash out now, when his value is the lowest. Lets give him a few months and see what he can do, you never know you just might go on a heater and get a great deal of value back for your efforts. When your the New York Mets you have to think big picture/long term benefit of the club, and this is the move that betters the club big picture. I just hope Jerry and Omar are able to think that way with their jobs on the line.
As spring training fast approaches I want to go around-the-horn on the projected Mets opening day lineup position by position. I will talk about my thoughts on how that position matches up and how it should be handled. Hope you enjoy.
Much like behind the plate the first base position for the Mets has been much maligned this off season. I think they really had hopes that Delgado could have made a comeback, but I for one am happy (see my post about new leadership). They added Mike Jacobs to the mix late so looking at the depth chart it’s Daniel Murphy’s job to lose.
They are gonna play this thing out as if it’s an open competition but given how much they hyped up Murphy last year I would be really surprised if they didn’t give him a shot to start the year to see what he can do. Jacobs can add some pop off the bench which could prove useful but I don’t really see him fitting into the defensive caddy role so I am not really sure why he was added quite frankly. Also don’t sleep on Nick Evans, unlick Murphy first is his natural position and he has proven to have a decent bat. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of a sharing role between Murphy and Evans then with Jacobs.
I personally like Murphy and truly wish him the best. I think last years disaster was really just a young player trying way too hard. Once they let him hang himself out there in left field he was just trying to keep his head above water and get through the season after that. Now with a new position and a fresh start I really want to see what he can do. I like his work ethic a lot and he has that grittiness that I covet for these Mets. He just needs to relax and play ball. I am hoping that Francoeur will have a calming effect on him, and act as a role model of sorts.
All I want to see out of Murphy is a significant jump up in On-Base-Percentage. That should be his only focus. I feel that with more plate discipline, which is what he was touted for coming up, everything else will come. And lets face it, he’s not going to be hitting in the power spots in the linup so a disciplined eye will be crucial whether he’s batting 2, 7, or 8. This will be the telltale sign for Murhpy’s season. If he can get that OBP north it could prove to be a good season for him.
The wildcard will be if Jacobs gets off to a good start and really swings a power bat. The Mets could be in such dire need for a power source that if Jacobs starts hitting some bombs they might be inclined to force him into the lineup. I’d rather stick to what they have said they want to build around and let Murphy just smack his doubles and take his walks. But only time will tell.