After only three Major League games I’m convinced that Ike is just what the Mets need. No, he’s not a savior by any means but he does make the team fundamentally better in so many intangible ways.
Ike will make David Wright and Jose Reyes better defensively by allowing them to be more aggressive on plays to first base. No longer will they have to worry about making the perfect throw to get the out at first. Just get the ball to Ike as fast as you can.
His increased range will also cover up that huge flaw at second base. Yes, on balls hit towards second, the pitcher better be covering first because Ike may just be able to get to those balls hit towards second better than our current second baseman.
Ike’s increased range over previous first basemen, while covering up quite a few mistakes, will also reduce the load on the pitching staff. Not only does he make Wright, Reyes, and Castillo better defensively but balls that should have been outs will now be outs resulting in fewer pitches thrown by the pitching staff.
Since better defense results in fewer pitches thrown, in effect, Ike will indirectly reduce the workload of the whole pitching staff. This is where Ike’s value truly lies. Reducing the load on the pitching staff is the key to getting the starters to pitch deep into games and keeping our relievers fresh and this has been a major problem for the Mets the past few years. This problem might just be solved.
Offensively, Ike makes that lineup a little deeper. 1-7 is now looking pretty solid. Even though Ike is batting 6th, with Barajas as protection, he should still see some decent pitches and he provides solid protection to Jeff Franceour which should allow Francoeur to start getting better pitches to hit. Ike also has the capability to hit the ball out of cavernous Citi Field, a definite plus.
Last year I so wanted Omar Minaya to sign Mark Teixeira but the Yankees saw his true value and signed him. Teixeira bought those intangibles with him to the Yankees which catapulted them to the World Series. Yes,first baseman are that important and Brian Cashman knew it.
Does Omar realize this or is he still learning on the job? The fans were right. Ike should have made the team from the start but then again Dave Doyle makes a good point in his posting, Ike Era Begins forMets. Omar may have bought up Ike at just the right time.
At least Ike is finally here. Welcome to New York Ike. Now pull a Teixeira and get us a parade.