UPDATE: Originally in the Triple-A lineup, Ike Davis was removed about 30 minutes before game time. He’s in Buffalo, New York and the Mets are playing at Citi Field tonight, so …* * * * * * * * * *
Every media outlet in New York seems to agree
that 23-year-old prospect Ike Davis is on the verge of joining the Mets, but it apparently won’t be today. Davis is in the lineup at Triple-A
this afternoon, batting cleanup and playing first base for Buffalo.
Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors notes
that it’s already late enough in the season that the Mets have delayed Davis’ free agency until after 2016, so that hurdle has been cleared. By waiting a bit longer they could also ensure he won’t reach “Super Two” arbitration status in his third season, but that’s less of a concern than pushing back Davis’ eventual free agency.
In other words, if the Mets are going to call up Davis it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference whether they do it today or later this week. But since we are talking about the Mets here, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they didn’t have a firm plan in place.
Also, while admittedly tough to do given the media attention surrounding his impending call-up expectations for Davis should be held in check. He was very impressive during spring training and is off to a tremendous start at Triple-A, but hitting .282 with a .467 slugging percentage and 159 strikeouts through 182 games in the minors doesn’t exactly scream instant impact and Davis has struggled against left-handed pitching.
He definitely projects as a good player long term and is probably better than Mike Jacobs or Daniel Murphy right now, but Davis is hardly a savior.
Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.
As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:
That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.