Who's on first?
For the New York Mets, it's a question that cannot be answered at the moment. The Mets have struggled offensively over the past few seasons. Because of this, no one knows who will be the team's first baseman in 2014.
Will it be Ike Davis, Lucas Duda or Josh Satin?
The Mets are trying to deal either Duda or Davis. Whoever stays with the Mets might be put in a platoon situation with bench player Josh Satin. There is also the possibility that Satin becomes the first basemen in 2014.
There are more than three months left until Opening Day, and the Mets need to figure out what they are going to do.
First of all, Satin isn't the answer at first base.
He even knows it. That's why he has started training to learn the outfield, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Also, Josh Satin has begun trying to learn the OF, taking fly balls every day. Marlon Byrd lives nearby and has told Satin he will help.— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) December 13, 2013
Satin hit for .279/.376/.405 with three home runs and 17 RBI in 2013, but those numbers won't translate good enough for an everyday first baseman. If anything, he can be a platoon player if Davis or Duda stays.
Satin can play more games against left-handed pitching. He hit for.317/.404/.476 against left-handers in 2013. That's way better than Davis' .145/.203/.406 line or Duda's .185/.309/.301 numbers. The right-handed Satin will provide more offensive power for the Mets when they face off against pitchers such as Cole Hamels or Gio Gonzalez.
And if Satin learns to play the outfield, his value will definitely increase on the Mets. If the Mets do acquire an everyday first baseman, at least he could still be able to play other positions.
Duda is a year older than Davis. And at the age of 27, it might be time to accept that Duda is hardly anything more than a .250/.348/.425 career hitter.
Defensively speaking, Duda is a natural first baseman. But he just isn't as quick on his feet as Davis is.
The one edge Duda may have over Davis is his physical strength. Both men stand at 6'4", but while Davis is 231 pounds, Duda is 255 pounds. He may be better able to knock the ball out of the ballpark, but we never see Duda's power in a consistent fashion.
At the same time, a guy with that frame and size shouldn't be hitting just 44 home runs over three years. Instead, he should be hitting close to 44 home runs over one season.
Another issue with Duda is a much-talked-about lack of confidence. Early in the 2013 season, Duda and his teammates spoke about his struggles in 2012, which led to his mid-summer demotion.
"You could definitely tell that he was down and not in a good place," Satin, his roommate at the time, recalled to Di Como of MLB.com.
Even though Duda plays in the big leagues once more, it's hard not to think he may still be having issues with his confidence. It's not like he was hitting .350 once he returned, hitting just .172 average after coming back in August 2013.
Looking at Davis' .205 batting average and 33 RBI in 317 plate appearances for 2013, he may not strike you as the top candidate for the first-base position.
In fact, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is still talking with teams about trading Davis. Although now fewer teams are interested, per MetsBlog.
But he should be.
The thing is, Davis has been quite a slow starter since his freak injury in 2011 against the Colorado Rockies. Suddenly, Davis found himself hitting .170 for the first two months of the 2012 season. In 2013, Davis batted .158 from April to early June before being demoted.
But since then, he hit much better, going on a hot streak and averaging .290 in August before he injured his right oblique.
Yes, Davis is injury prone and he typically starts seasons slow. But he seems to be able to handle the big leagues in ways that Duda cannot. Also, Davis has the experience of being an everyday first baseman in the majors. Duda doesn't.
Let's face it, Alderson isn't going to deal away Davis or Duda for a superstar first baseman. If anything, the Mets are looking for a deal where they can find a decent shortstop or pitching in exchange.
Who are the Mets planning on using at first base? Wilmer Flores? Flores has the potential, but he's not sure about his role on the Mets.
When Anthony Rieber of Newsday asked him what is his role on the Mets, Flores responded, "I think...I can't really tell you. I mean, I know I can play third, I can play second. I know I can play first. It's really not my decision. I'm just playing where they want me to."
So why not platoon Davis and Satin? It's a situation where Davis can play against right-handed hurlers, and Satin can go against left-handed pitching. If Davis gets off to a hot start, the Mets can use Satin less and allow Davis to develop against lefties.
Maybe that will be a successful situation for the Mets next season.