Can Ike Davis Really Help the Yankees?

The New York Yankees have not had much luck with their first basemen so far this year. They’ve been plagued by injuries at the position throughout the 2016 season. To try and deal with this problem, the team signed former New York Met Ike Davis on Sunday.

Davis, 29, started the 2016 season with the Texas Rangers organization. He was assigned to Triple-A to start the year and was never called up. On Sunday, Davis opted out of his minor league contract with the Rangers so he could pursue a major league contract. He knew that the Yankees were interested in him. The contract they signed him to is for one year and is worth $1.5 million.

It’s obvious why the Yankees decided to go after Davis. They’ve had so many injuries at the first base position. Before the season even started, their young power-hitting first baseman Greg Bird needed to have shoulder surgery and was ruled out for the entirety of 2016. Mark Teixeira was placed on the disabled list back in early June due to torn articular cartilage in his right knee. Teixeira has battled injury problems with his knee for years now. Utility infielder Dustin Ackley suffered a torn labrum in his shoulder in late May, requiring surgery. He’ll most likely miss the rest of the season.

With their options limited, the Yankees turned to Davis. Although he’s not the ideal candidate for first base, the team could do worse. In Triple-A with the Round Rock Express, he was hitting .268 with four home runs and 25 RBIs. As far as his Major League numbers go, Davis is a lifetime .239 hitter. A left-handed hitter with a decent amount of power, he once hit 32 home runs in a season. This came in 2012 while he was still with the Mets. The Mets traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates in April of 2014. He was traded again during the 2014 offseason, this time to the Oakland Athletics. Davis only batted .229 with three homers and 20 RBIs during his lone season in Oakland.

Although Davis hasn’t put up great offensive numbers in his career, he could potentially hit a decent  amount of home runs in Yankee Stadium due to the short porch in right field. Additionally, he fields his position very well. He was known for making great defensive plays while he was with the Mets. The Yankees are planning on having him platoon first base with Rob Refsnyder, who bats right-handed. Davis also has a family connection with the Yankees. His father, Ron Davis, pitched for the Yankees from 1978-1981. Playing for his father’s old team could potentially motivate Ike.

The Yankees signed Ike Davis out of desperation. They basically ran out of options at first base. However, they have a chance to catch lighting in a bottle with him. After all, former Mets have had success with the Yankees in the past. The most recent examples of this are Chris Young and Carlos Beltran. He might actually be able to really help the team in this time of need.

The Next Man Up: Ike Davis

The Yankees roller coaster season continues as they struggle to find answers to turn their season around. Injuries have plagued the Yankees and they are having a hard time working around them.

Mark Teixeira is a big part of the lineup and his injury has loomed large in the Yankees clubhouse. The team had to find some relief and so they acquired Ike Davis. Davis needs to make a difference on the field because the Yankees have to start winning.

This season is moving quickly and this team can be on the verge of being knocked out of playoff contention early.

The Yankees do not need a place holder at the first base position they need a player that can make plays on defense, and get the job done in the batter’s box. I can see Davis being that kind of player, and he can help the Yankees offense in a major way.

The team has been getting outscored early and they are having trouble fighting back to regain the lead and win. That is a problem the Yankees have experienced at home and on the road and it has to change. The Yankees need to take this season to rebuild and move players around.

Davis is probably not the start of the rebuilding process, but he is a young player that can give the Yankees some life to try and revive their losing record. Davis is a career .200 hitter and the Yankees need him to be better than he is on paper.

His best season in the majors was in 2012 with the New York Mets when he exploded for 32 homeruns. Davis played in the most games in a single season of his career (156) in 2012. He performed that well after coming off a season in which he only played in 36 games due to injury.

The Yankees have been losing their first basemen at an alarming rate and they have had to use the depth that they lack on their bench as replacements. Davis now has the pressure on him to be as great as he once was. He is the best bet for the Yankees in their current state.

He is not completely different from Teixeira aside from not being a switch hitter the lefty does have pop in his bat. Davis has the right pieces around him to make a name for himself in the Bronx, but it is up to him to be productive.

Davis has a big responsibility on his hands to try and help the team change. Defensively he is a great player and he is the most qualified person for this position.

The Yankees do need him for offensive purposes just like they needed Teixeira before he got injured. Teixeira was also in a hitting slump before his injury. He could potentially lock up the first base position if he performs well.

This is a position that he is familiar with and if he starts hitting well and stays hot he will stay at first base. After Teixeira returns the Yankees will have options and they will make their decision when they are sure that he is healthy.

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Pitch Hitting and Hitters Pitching

I guess I should mention the New York Yankees lost 3-1 on Sunday, but still took two-out-of-three over the weekend in Toronto against the Blue Jays. It was a better effort than when they were swept by Toronto in New York the prior weekend and eventually yielded first place to Toronto by a half game last Wednesday. New York enters the week with a half game lead over Toronto in the AL East, but who cares about all that pennant race stuff when we’ve got NL pitchers going deep and AL hitters digging deep to pitch.

PITCH HITTING

Sunday afternoon both the Dodgers Zack Greinke and the Giants Madison Bumgarner hit home runs and pitched their teams to victory.

Greinke hit his second homer of the season after Joc Pederson had just taken the Reds Anthony DeSclafani deep in the bottom of the fifth. Those were the only two runs the Dodgers needed in their 2-1 win. Greinke struck out eight over seven innings, allowing just one run and in the process improving to 13-2 while lowering his ERA to a bacteria sized 1.58.

Following an RBI double in the fifth, Bumgarner hit his fourth homer of the season with a seventh inning jolt against the Nationals Casey Janssen. MadBum (14-6) then finished what he started in a 14 strikeout shutout. He scattered three hits and a walk in the 5-0 win for his second consecutive complete game win. The only other Giants pitcher to throw a shutout, strikeout at least 10 and homer in a game was Juan Marichal.

Oh by the way, the Dodgers lead the Giants by 2.5 games in the NL West while the Nationals have lost six straight and trail the Mets by 4.5 games in the NL East. The Lucas Dudaless Mets actually got swept by the Pirates this weekend. Pittsburgh is still chasing St. Louis in the NL Central, five games back.

HITTERS PITCHING

Saturday night Mariners’ catcher Jesus Sucre proved he’s better at catching no-hitters than pitching them. Hisashi Iwakuma’s battery mate in last week’s no-hitter became a pitcher because the Mariners wore out their bullpen on Friday and Saturday. Mike Montgomery allowed nine Red Sox to score over 2.1 IP on Friday when Seattle lost 15-1. King Felix was pillaged for 10 runs over 2.1 IP on Saturday. Sucre pitched the eighth inning allowing five hits and three runs. Two of the runs coming on Jackie Bradley’s second homer of the game in a 22-10 win. The Red Sox season is still in the tank at 52-65, but thoughts and prayers are with their manager John Farrell who had to step away from the rest of the season to after announcing on Friday he has Stage 1 lymphoma. Niner weeks of chemotherapy treatment will start this week. Bench coach Torey Lovullo is the Red Sox’s interim manager.

Then there is first baseman turned reliever Ike Davis. Sunday afternoon the Athletics liked Ike to pitch for the second time this season during a Gerardo Parra 5-hit, Adam Jones two homer, 18-2 thrashing in Baltimore.

Davis had previously pitched a clean inning against the Angels on April 21st. Ike added another scoreless inning on Sunday and picked up his first career strikeout when whiffing Jonathan Schoop. Ike did allow a hit and walked the opposing pitcher Jason Garcia. A pitcher did indeed bat in an AL park because the Orioles forfeited the DH when moving Steve Clevenger, who had four hits, to first base. According to Elias, the last time an American League position player faced an AL pitcher batting was on July 19, 1987, when the Yankees’ Rick Cerone pitched to Bobby Witt of the Rangers.

SALE-ING AWAY

The White Sox Chris Sale struck out every 15 Cubs over seven scoreless innings on Sunday. That’s a heavy dose of “He Gone”. The Cubs lost 3-1, but won two-of-three from the Good Guys and still lead the Giants by 3.5 game for the 2nd NL wild card spot.

The Rockies Chris Rusin pitched a 5-0 complete game shut out against the Padres at Coors Field.

WALK OFFS

The Royals have a 12 game lead over the Twins after Kendrys Morales beat his former team with a walk off RBI single in the tenth inning against the Angels. Trevor Gott the loss. The Halos are 3.5 game behind Houston in the AL West. The Astros walked off with a win against the Tigers Alex Wilson compliments of a Jose Altuve RBI single.

The Braves Shelby Miller carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before the Diamondbacks Nick Ahmed led off the inning with a single. Cameron Maybin later hit a tenth inning walk-off homer for Atlanta against Arizona’s David Hernandez.

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