According to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork, the Mets have designated first baseman Mike Jacobs for assignment to make room on the roster for right handed pitcher Tobi Stoner. The plan is to replace Jacobs in a couple of days with the team’s top prospect, Ike Davis, once the bullpen is rested after last night’s 20-inning game.
Jacobs has been struggling so far this season. Here is his line so far: .208/.296/.375/.671. It is beginning to look like Jacobs is going to be closer to the .698 OPS he put up in 2009 than the .812 OPS he put up in 2008 and the Mets don’t want to wait while he struggles to get back to his previous level.
Combine that with the fact that Fernando Tatis , the other half of the Mets first base platoon, is struggling even worse hitting just .174 with only one extra-base hit though 10 games and the Mets have a big need at first. To make matters worse, the pair have struggled quite a bit to play defensively and it has already cost the Mets multiple chances to win games.
Initially the Mets had resisted calling 23-year-old Davis up to the major leagues. While he has hit at every level he has been at so far, he is still relatively young, he hasn’t even been 23 for a month yet, and until this season had not been above the Double-A level.
But through his first 10 games at Triple-A Buffalo, Davis looks like now is as good a time as any to get called up to the major leagues. He is hitting .357 with a .500 OBP, a .636 SLG, two home runs and three doubles. His nine walks in just 42 plate appearances has also been impressive.
It was thought that because of his experience that Chris Carter was perhaps in front of Davis on the depth chart, but it could be Davis’ defense that separated the two.
If Carter, who is probably just slightly better than average defensively, gets called up and struggles at the plate he isn’t going to be much more of a help than Jacobs would have been by himself. Davis, who is regarded as an above average fielder, can struggle at the plate and still contribute until Daniel Murphy returns from the DL.
Now Carter will have to make the team as an outfielder which could make it hard for him. He does have experience as a center fielder, but he profiles much better as a corner outfielder. The Mets have Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur in place in the corners so Carters best chance is to come in as the fourth outfielder or fifth outfielder once Carlos Beltran returns.
Stoner, 26, is in his second season at the Triple-A. In two appearances and 8.1 innings so far this season he has a 0-1 record and a 4.32 ERA. Between Double-A Binghamton and Triple-A Buffalo last season Stoner was 9-9 with a 3.55 ERA. He also pitched nine innings at the major league level with a 4.00 ERA.