A report on Tuesday claims the Mets are considering demoting half of their starting infield as well as arguably their most promising outfielder to the minors.
Speculation has been running rampant that Ike Davis could be banished to Las Vegas. It would not be unwarranted; after all, he is batting .152 with four home runs and nine RBIs to go along with 48 strikeouts. Even during his first half struggles last season Davis’s batting average was never this low.
But now the Daily News reports that those pesky “team sources” who apparently don’t like seeing their name in print say the Mets are also considering demoting Ruben Tejada and Jordany Valdespin.
Tejada is hitting just .213. But he does have nine doubles and hey, he has one more RBI than Davis. However his .278 on-base percentage just won’t cut it for someone who is supposed to hit at the top of the lineup and get on base consistently. After a rough start in the field in which he rang up six errors in the first couple of weeks of the season, he has settled down and has become more reliable. Still though, his seven errors are tied for the most of any shortstop in baseball. He had 12 errors all of last season.
Valdespin is hitting just .218 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. His demotion has more to do with his much documented off-the-field immaturity problems than what he is doing between the lines.
I think all three demotions would be a mistake, for the simple reason that the Mets do not have anyone better than Davis, Tejada and Valdespin ready to go in the minors. Anyone they bring up will not likely perform any better.
In Davis’s case, he has shown the ability to break out of his slumps at the major league level; just give him the chance to do it again. It’s not like Davis is getting in the way of the Mets contending for a playoff spot.
Tejada also deserves a chance to work things out.
As for Valdespin, will a trip to the minors really make him more mature? If he didn’t grow up after last season in which he apparently had similar problems, what makes the Mets think he will get any better now? The Mets would be better off just trading him (if there is any market for him at all) and be done with him. Such a move will come back to haunt the Mets because I think Valdespin will be a solid player, but if the Mets brass does not like Valdespin as much as it appears, Sandy Alderson should just end it now.
Actually there are probably around 15 players on the Mets who warrant a demotion. Why pick on just these three guys?