Published on June 10th, 2013 | by Josh Chapdelaine1
Alderson Made Wholesale Roster Changes Nine Months Later
The New York Mets have gotten off to a wretched start that has seen them dip to 12 games below .500 in early-June. The early optimism of a club that could potentially earn a Wild Card berth if everything clicked is as far gone as a Rob Carson fastball.
The club demoted LHB Mike Baxter, LHP Rob Carson, and LHB Ike Davis on Sunday night following the club’s 8-4 loss to the Miami Marlins. Jonathon Niese pitched a respectable game in allowing three runs over 6 2/3 innings and left with a lead that was promptly severed by one pitch from Scott Rice in the seventh inning.
The struggles of the team are now well chronicled. The club sparked against the Atlanta Braves on May 26th -A brief two weeks ago- winning the series finale against the National League East leaders before sweeping a four game set from the New York Yankees. It was a step back toward respectability, yet the club finds themselves exactly where they stood two weeks ago: 12 games under .500 and struggling to find reason for optimism.
Last offseason, Sandy Alderson addressed the need for “wholesale roster changes” to occur over the course of the winter to support the club’s most obvious needs: The bullpen and outfield. When Alderson made the assertion, few believed that Ike Davis and first base would eventually become a desperate vacancy. At 26-years-old, it’s truly puzzling how Davis’ fall has truly been a symbolic measure of the club: There’s tremendous potential that at times flashes, but ultimately continues to underperform.
The New York Mets organization took a huge step yesterday by demoting Ike Davis. Whether the timing was too late or not is now irrelevant, but the fact remains that those who don’t perform will be held accountable for their actions. Davis could very well be the future of the franchise at first base, but that doesn’t give him the right to hit .164 through the first two months of the season and expect to have a strong second half. In baseball, just as with business and life, past results are not indicative of future successes and baseball is naturally a results oriented business. Davis’ job is to produce in the middle of the lineup while playing stellar defense at first. He has done neither in 2013, but that doesn’t mean that he’ll be written off. His story is still developing much like this Mets club that desperately is trying to grasp it’s footing on stable ground.
The changes are simple, yet very significant. 28-year-old Josh Satin will have his first opportunity to make a true impact against major league pitching and he has done nothing but support the notion that he deserves the chance. He has mashed to a .306/.421/.491 in Las Vegas this season and is two seasons removed from a 43 double campaign. He probably won’t be the long term solution at the position, but the Mets are making the correct move in allowing him to play solely because he has earned the opportunity to do so. Satin would have to fail to a huge extent to produce worse than Davis did thus far this season, and therefore he is an assumed upgrade.
Collin Cowgill is no stranger to Flushing, but he’ll be a welcome addition to an outfield thirsty for offense. He has hit .267/.358/.442 with five home runs and six doubles. He has plus defense in corner positions, adequate defense in center field, and is another option atop the lineup. Cowgill received all of 12 official at-bats before being removed as the everyday center fielder, and while he won’t be anointed the everyday center fielder this time around, he’ll have the the opportunity to earn his way into the position to become it.
Josh Edgin represents something very similar to Collin Cowgill. His struggles early in the season cost him the opportunity to get a prolonged look with the big league club, but his recent performance was much better than that of Rob Carson’s big league offerings. Edgin has struggled in the minor leagues but has seemed to regain his footing as he has thrown five consecutive shutout innings, punching out five.
The organizational approach has shifted to accountability and a lack of promises to anyone not named Matt Harvey or David Wright. It’s the right philosophy to carry, and Alderson was completely correct in making his moves.
Photo Credit: Michael Baron