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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ike Davis: Amazin’s Can Finish Over .500 In 2013

You know, I truly diggeth David Lyudmirsky’s ‘Calculator in the Sky’...but didn’t think you could actually freakin’ use it!

When asked by WFAN host Mike Francesa if the team would finish above .500, the power-hitting first basemen did not hesitate to reply, “Yes, I believe so.”

“I think we can,” Davis explained. “Obviously, if people start getting hurt, it’s tough to do that. But I think if we stay healthy, and people have the seasons that they are supposed to have, I think we can get to 81 (wins) for sure.”

Davis, who batted.227 with 32 homers and 90 RBIs in 2012, said that he would like to improve his batting average while reaching the 100-RBI mark

“I’d like to get my average over .260,” Davis said. “If I can hit anywhere from mid-.260s to .300, that’d be great.”

...While the Mets’ young talent has impressed Davis, he conceded that the team needs to make some moves at the top of the lineup. He agreed with David Wright that free-agent Michael Bourn would add a much-needed spark.

“The offseason is not over,” said Davis. “I think it would be sweet to get Bourn in. Wouldn’t that be sweet?”

Repoz Posted: February 05, 2013 at 08:16 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. Baldrick Posted: February 05, 2013 at 10:46 PM (#4363551)
Really reaching for the stars here aren't they?
   2. catomi01 Posted: February 05, 2013 at 10:59 PM (#4363556)
How many players would actually answer no to that question in a public forum?
   3. DJS and the Infinite Sadness Posted: February 05, 2013 at 11:18 PM (#4363569)
“I’d like to get my average over .260,” Davis said. “If I can hit anywhere from mid-.260s to .300, that’d be great.”

.295? Great! But not .310.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:52 AM (#4363610)
When were they relegated to AAA? I would have thought somebody would have posted a link to that story.
   5. RollingWave Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:15 AM (#4363640)
How many players would actually answer no to that question in a public forum?


Everyone playing for the Royals?

   6. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:31 AM (#4363642)
Off the top of my head they lost Dickey and Thole, and the rest was a wash at the major league level. D'Arnaud has a shot a being productive even in a half to 2/3 of a season, but expecting more than a win or so is a lot from a rookie catcher. 2014 is more likely to be his year. A full season of Harvey will help. Wheeler will be interesting to watch. I think Niese peaked last season. The bullpen will be about the same. Wright will regress some, Tejada and Murphy are who they are, which is fine, but I don't see any performance spikes coming. Davis should be a little better. No OFers coming up, though jettisoning Bay might be worth a full win. Pythag was 75 wins... so... 73 wins in 2013?

Which means 82 is within reach!

.
   7. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: February 06, 2013 at 06:25 AM (#4363647)
All Davis stipulated to was "2013." If you count spring training wins and intrasquad games, the Mets are right there, knocking on the door.
   8. Lassus Posted: February 06, 2013 at 08:49 AM (#4363661)
So sayeth your 2013 MVP!

In all seriousness, it will be interesting to see WTF Davis' production is this year. I would be shocked at absolutely nothing on either end.
   9. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 06, 2013 at 09:02 AM (#4363665)
They could be amazingly average!
   10. Conor Posted: February 06, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4363674)
I'm hoping for more out of the pen last year. That's more because they were below replacement level last year, per fangraphs, and I'm just assuming they can't be that bad again this year. Looking at fangraphs WAR, they've been 29th and 30th the last 2 years. 2010 they were all the way up to 20th, and then in 2009 they were 26th. 2008 was 25th, 2007 was 18th. So you need to go back to 2007 for the last time they close to average. One of these years they will have a random good, or at least average, bullpen year, right?
   11. boteman Posted: February 06, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4363677)
"Come to play"
   12. formerly dp Posted: February 06, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4363715)
The bullpen will be about the same.


I'm hoping for more out of the pen last year. That's more because they were below replacement level last year, per fangraphs, and I'm just assuming they can't be that bad again this year.


I'm with Conor on this one-- they haven't lost much out there, and have brought in some guys who could step forward. I don't think the Lyon deal is done yet, but they've also added Hawkins and Feliciano, with Familia going to the pen full-time. Rauch ended up only getting $1M, and for that price I would have liked to see him back.

I would be shocked at absolutely nothing on either end.
Davis was so astoundingly bad in the first couple of months that you have to give him a Valley Fever mulligan. He was pretty consistent the rest of the way-- his floor was high enough that even slumping he was helping the team.
   13. Conor Posted: February 06, 2013 at 10:58 AM (#4363735)
Since we can't hijack this thread because it's already about the Mets, I wanted to say it astounds me that Sandy didn't make more of an effort to improve the OF.
   14. DA Baracus Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4363741)
How many players would actually answer no to that question in a public forum?


Everyone on the Astros.
   15. The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4363743)
I gotta agree that you need to give Davis a mulligan, those first two months were 190 PAs of ~.525 OPS. Of course, this year he'll probably get Hantas on a trip to Arizona.
   16. formerly dp Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:08 AM (#4363747)
I wanted to say it astounds me that Sandy didn't make more of an effort to improve the OF.
Letting Hairston walk over $1-2M made no sense to me. Bourn still looks like a possibility, though I wouldn't be terribly excited about him given what he'll probably cost. I still think they should have tried to get Davis as a throw-in from the Jays, but in the long run, I prefer the prospects, and apparently Toronto still has a use for him.
   17. Conor Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:18 AM (#4363755)
How much do you think Bourn is going to cost at this point? Boras always seems to able to pull a rabbit out of his hat, but it really seems like Bourn will be getting 4 years around 55 million or so? If the Mets A) can keep the first rounder protected, and B) plan on being able to spend anywhere close to the kind of money a team in their market is capable of, I would be fine with that deal.
   18. formerly dp Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:28 AM (#4363768)
I would prefer to go 3, but I think it'll take 4 to get him. For some reason, I am having memories of the Jason Bay deal with Bourn-- late in the offseason, missed out on more talented players, overpay for a guy who could very easily crater. I guess in my mind it doesn't matter how bad they are in 2013, so I'm not that worried about walking away from him.
   19. thetailor Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:30 PM (#4363907)
Ike Davis from June 1 to the end of the year:

.253/.341/.536 878 OPS, 108 games, 27 HR, 69 RBI, only .262 BABIP

Davis didn't really start crushing it until after June 1, but I've included the extra month just to increase the sample size (from June 25, 898 OPS; from July 27, 915 OPS). The guy is a Stud with a capital S.

I would be extremely surprised if he didn't post an OPS of 850 of higher this year. He did an incredible job bouncing back from that start when I think a lesser player on a terrible, losing team, with no job threat, might have mailed it in until 2013.
   20. bunyon Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:45 PM (#4363925)
Since we can't hijack this thread because it's already about the Mets, I wanted to say it astounds me that Sandy didn't make more of an effort to improve the OF.

She flooded it and washed away the grass but left too much clay and they were able to bring in topsoil and re-sod in time for the season.
   21. OsunaSakata Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4364024)
I don't think the Mets will finish at or above .500. However, it would surprise me less than the Athletics winning the division or the Orioles getting to the playoffs last year.
   22. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:14 PM (#4364332)
In all seriousness, it will be interesting to see WTF Davis' production is this year. I would be shocked at absolutely nothing on either end.


In his two healthy seasons, Davis's OPS+ was 115 and 110. What's interesting, and promising, is that his BABIP in 2012 was preposterously low. That suggests strongly that his 156 OPS+ in his truncated 2011 season wasn't a complete fluke, and if you normalize his BABIP you get a projection for 2013 of an OPS+ between 125 and 135.

This is something of a WAG as I didn't account for caliber of competition, platooning, and so on, but if you take the air out of 2011 he still took a step forward, and another in 2012. If he's healthy, he'll be very good.
   23. The District Attorney Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:18 PM (#4364341)
Since we can't hijack this thread because it's already about the Mets, I wanted to say it astounds me that Sandy didn't make more of an effort to improve the OF.

She flooded it and washed away the grass but left too much clay and they were able to bring in topsoil and re-sod in time for the season.
Zing!
   24. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 06, 2013 at 05:20 PM (#4364353)
Since we can't hijack this thread because it's already about the Mets, I wanted to say it astounds me that Sandy didn't make more of an effort to improve the OF.


I think it's as simple as no money and nothing to trade.

I also think the business with Bourn is just blowing smoke, and if it's not, I hope it is. He'll be 32 in 2015, just when the Mets have a chance to be very good, if the pitching matures and before it gets expensive. $15m for Bourn's age 32 season seems awfully high, especially when the team will have plenty of guys going to arb that they'll want to keep (if the team has a chance to contend).

I also wonder at the sense of giving Bourn something like 4/50, but not re-signing Jose Reyes for an additional 4m per season.
   25. Karl from NY Posted: February 07, 2013 at 01:12 AM (#4364717)
All Davis stipulated to was "2013." If you count spring training wins and intrasquad games, the Mets are right there, knocking on the door.

Wait... An intrasquad game can't move you over .500. In fact, it will always move you towards .500 no matter where you start, either above or below.
   26. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 07, 2013 at 01:49 AM (#4364726)
From the NYPost article on the Mets and Bourn,

"But Boras probably feels compelled to bring Bourn in at a larger package than the four years at $40 million the Giants gave Mets castoff Angel Pagan."

Back when Pagan was something of a crapshoot (after the 2008 offseason, for example), but had shown promise, the ability to contribute in a variety of ways, and was still young, I wanted the Mets to make him an oddball offer, something like 5/6, or 5/7.5.

I've never seen a team do that with a marginal but interesting player (I wonder what the lowest AAV ever on a five year deal was), but Pagan was speedy enough and could hit a little. He was a fair bet to be a tolerable fifth (maybe sixth, a AAAA yo-yo?) OFer, if no better, through his prime years.

It's one thing to lock up your good young players, the way Hart did starting with Cleveland in the 90s; what about signing your marginal, all-around players to their first big payday? All you'd need is one in four to turn out like Pagan for this to work. Maybe it's a roster size issue, if you're wanting to sign several of them; maybe guys anywhere near arb simply don't go for this, given the combination of self-confidence it takes to get as far as Pagan did through 2008, and the outside chance of a payday like the one Pagan eventually got (though 5/7.5 wouldn't have precluded it, and Pagan would have been set for life had his career ended violently.
   27. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: February 07, 2013 at 09:32 AM (#4364771)
.500 OPS, maybe...
   28. Lassus Posted: February 07, 2013 at 10:03 AM (#4364789)
Back when Pagan was something of a crapshoot (after the 2008 offseason, for example), but had shown promise, the ability to contribute in a variety of ways, and was still young, I wanted the Mets to make him an oddball offer, something like 5/6, or 5/7.5.

You would have to have an overwhelming acceptance of your own ensuing and steady mediocrity to accept an offer like that, even if you weren't nearly as good or showed nothing close to the promise Pagan did.
   29. Conor Posted: February 07, 2013 at 10:07 AM (#4364790)
Hasn't there been some research done that says that you can expect a lower than average BABIP for a guy that faces a lot of shifts? Then again, Ike had a 246 BABIP last year, after 321 and 346 the past 2 years, so even if you don't project 320 for next year, I'm, betting it will be above 246.

On Bourn, obviously a lot depends on the contract, but even more, it depends on the Mets finances. If the Mets are spending what they should be spending (which doesn't seem likely, but bear with me) then a $15 million contract is pretty much a drop in the bucket. I still think it's a decent enough risk though. For 2015 right now, they have $27 million in salary obligations; $20 million for Wright plus $7.5 million for Niese, plus whatever they need to pay Bay. Davis will be an arb 3, if they haven't extended him yet. Murphy and Parnell will be arb 3's as well, but I wouldn't be surprised if they trade/non tender Murph rather than pay him like $7 million a year. But in 2015, they really won't have that many other arb guys. Harvey I guess might be a super 2, but D'Arnaud and Wheeler will have at most 2 years of service time, and likely less.

Even taking a somewhat pessimistic look at the Mets finances, I'd like to think that in 2015 they'd be capable of spending $120 million or so, and looking at what they have, I doubt $15 million to Bourn would be that much of an issue. (For instance, if they don't sign Bourn, I bet they don't have a payroll much m ore than $100 million, if they are even that high, in 2015).

Also, I'm trying to be somewhat optimistic and let myself think that if they make a few decent moves, 2014 they could at least have a chance to be in the wild card race. I could be kind and say they need 2 everyday OF (when the reality is they probably need 3, but let's be generous and hope that maybe they find a platoon out of Baxter and Andrew Brown or something like that); so if they get Bourn they would only need one, which maybe they could get next year in FA or with a trade. But the 2014 IF is probably already set, with Davis/Murphy/Tejada/Wright/D'Arnaud. And they have the makings of a nice young rotation in 2014 of Harvey/Wheeler/Niese/Gee. And maybe one of these years the pen won't totally suck?

I'm not predicting it, and maybe I am being too optimistic, but if they add 2 OF, one of which is Bourn, I can see them being competitive in 2014. I also think it's going to be difficult for them to spend around $100-110 million over the next few years without signing Bourn unless they sign a contract that is likely to be worse than Bourn, if that makes any sense.
   30. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 07, 2013 at 05:44 PM (#4365264)
@29--If the Mets have a payroll upwards of $110m then they might be able to do something in 2014--I wouldn't say there's a nucleus there; more like enough pieces of the jigsaw puzzle to make contending possible if they can add a very good starter (17m), a very good OFer (15m), another, pretty good OFer (10m), and then if the IF plays up to its potential but without having to play at its absolute peak... Oh, and the pen... Damn (12m, hoping Parnell can close?). And the starting pitching has to come through...

I get your point wrt Bourn. If they're going to get payroll to 110m without wasting money they have to sign someone... I don't have the time right now to guess at arb raises for 2013 and 2014, so I'm not sure how much the team would have to spend in the 2013-2014 offseason to get payroll to 110m, but yeah, without Bourn it could be a case of having too many dollars (strange thought) chasing too few players.

It'd be great to see Murphy stick around, but if they really do have no intention of keeping him once he gets expensive, I hope they get value in return instead of pulling a Reyes with him.

Fwiw, though, while it was fun to mull over the above, I'm not seeing payroll going much over 80m for several years. By re-signing Wright it seems the Wilpons aren't going to go Houston's route (though the rumors of trading Niese were discomfiting), but other than the pursuit of Bourn (which could be with an eye to only getting him if he's flukily cheap, then dealing him asap), we just haven't seen anything to suggest the Mets think 2014 is their year (such as going after a lesser player more likely to contribute sooner, rather than Snydergaard, who won't be doing much at the ML level before 2017).

You would have to have an overwhelming acceptance of your own ensuing and steady mediocrity to accept an offer like that,...


I'm finding this unreasonably funny.
   31. Conor Posted: February 07, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4365325)
Yeah I think I'm closer to you on the payroll. Maybe they will be above $80 million, but I certainly don't see $110 million int he next few years. But I can dream.

I get your point wrt Bourn. If they're going to get payroll to 110m without wasting money they have to sign someone... I don't have the time right now to guess at arb raises for 2013 and 2014, so I'm not sure how much the team would have to spend in the 2013-2014 offseason to get payroll to 110m, but yeah, without Bourn it could be a case of having too many dollars (strange thought) chasing too few players.


I don't think it's going to be a ton. Per Cots, this is what they have as far as arb guys go for 2014

Arb 2: Ike, Murphy, Parnell
Gee will be Arb 1, as will guys like Duda, Baxter, etc.

Murph signed for $3 million this year, if he has a good year maybe he doubles that, goes for $6 million? Ike signed for a little more than $3 million; I could see him being an extension candidate, but either way, maybe he's around $7-8 million? They should have plenty of money to spend in 2014, even if they only got to $80 million. (Which tells you they may end up below that) $20 million for Wright, $5 million for Niese, $15 million for Bourn. You could keep Parnell and Murph, maybe that's another $10 million between the two? That's $50 million, then everyone else is either arb 1 or lower. Plus I think they owe Bay something like $5-7 million. And I'm not sure how they would treat the Santana buyout, if it goes against 2013 or 2014, but if it's 2014, that's another $5 million. That's like $65 million. If they were spending $100 million or so, they could still hit the FA market and being in another stud OF. Only problem is I'm not sure that guy is available.

I agree they are 2 OF away, and probably a SP, but I'm not sure how good that SP has to be yet. Bourn should take care of one of thise guys. I could see Harvey fronting a playoff rotation by 2014. Wheeler will get his first cup of coffee this year probably, and might be ready for 170 IP or so in 2014. I think we'll know a lot more after this season. Gee and Niese seemed to take steps forward last year; Gee dropped his FIP from 4.65 to 3.71, and Niese began to pitch to his FIP. It's possible all they could need to add is an averagish starting pitcher to have a playoff caliber rotation in 2014. Or Harvey and Wheeler could get hurt and we could be screwed. I guess my point is that if they go into next season needing 2 OF and another starter to compete, that probably seems like too much to realistically accomplish in one off-season, whereas if the checklist is more like one OF and a starter, I could talk myself into it.


   32. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 07, 2013 at 06:42 PM (#4365329)
Good analysis. Thanks for doing the heavy lifting.

My fear is the Wilpons will take advantage of having a young, competitive team to pocket dollars, rather than use those players as the basis of a contender. They don't think as follows, but it might be along the lines of, "75m in 2014 gives us an 81-81 team with a shot at playing 'meaningful games in September', while adding another 6 wins on the FA market at 5.5m per win puts our payroll at 110m with no guarantee of getting the wildcard. Let's pocket the 35m difference and call it good".

I agree, that this year will be very revealing. My sorrow is that by 2016 this club starts to get expensive, assuming things are going well, and there still isn't a damned OFer who can hit, and field a little, in the system. Also, if the Wilpons are still around, the current crop of young players may come and go before they have any real money to put into the team.

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