Ike Davis played his way off the Mets with long slumps and poor overall production, and now the Pirates are experiencing that same thing from the 27-year-old first baseman.
Davis got off to a nice start after being traded to Pittsburgh in mid-April, but before homering last night he was in the midst of a 0-for-20 slump that has dragged his batting average down to .252 and his slugging percentage down to .385.
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that manager Clint Hurdle is thinking about benching Davis, at least temporarily, in order to give Gaby Sanchez more action at first base. Sanchez is a .258 career hitter with a lifetime .757 OPS. In other words: The honeymoon is over.
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The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.