More than two weeks into the season, and the New York Mets still haven’t solved their logjam at first base, with three different players splitting time there. It may be fair to give both Lucas Duda and Ike Davis the opportunity to play there after both were hurt throughout much of the spring, but it’s not helping the team.
The solution is to demote Davis, allowing Duda and Josh Satin to play a straight platoon, and bring up veteran Bobby Abreu to help the Mets’ bench.
Duda has done well early in the season as he’s far more comfortable and focused and at the plate when he’s playing first base as opposed to past seasons when the Mets have put him in the outfield. But every time he starts to find his rhythm, Terry Collins pulls him out of the lineup to give Davis a start.
If the Mets want to give Duda a fair opportunity to be the regular first baseman, then he needs to be the regular first baseman and not relinquish starts against right-handed starters.
Despite a couple of big hits, Davis hasn’t fared well with irregular at-bats. His confidence and trade value are not going to go up if he’s not playing on a daily basis, and until the Mets are ready to make him the everyday first baseman, he needs to be in triple-A as he’s just not an asset coming off the bench.
As for Abreu, his signing was questionable at first glance, but the veteran has been impossible to get out at triple-A, hitting .429 with three doubles and five RBIs. All of Abreu’s hits are being wasted at triple-A when he could be used to help the Mets win games in the big leagues. Abreu’s contract has an out if he’s not in the big leagues by the end of April, so it seems inevitable that the Mets will promote him, so why not now?
With Juan Lagares going to the DL and Curtis Granderson nursing an injury for at least a few days, the Mets could use Abreu on the bench right now. He could even start a game or two if Granderson continues to miss time.
It’s time for the Mets to throw fairness out the window and do what’s best for the team. They would be better off Abreu taking Davis’ spot on the bench, and there’s no point in delaying that move; it needs to happen right away.