The Curious Case of Josh Satin and Ike Davis

Josh SatinWith Ike Davis back from exile and installed right back into the four spot in the lineup, Josh Satin became an odd man out. That’s not a new situation; Josh has been the odd man out for years now. Satin is 28, and unless you count 27 plate appearances in 2011 as a fair audition, he has never been given a chance to show if he can play in the major leagues. When you see Satin you can see why, he is not fast, and he does not have above-average power. Defensively it will be hard for Satin to play anywhere but a corner. What has kept him around in the minors this long is an ability to work counts and get on base. But here is the thing; he plays for an organization that preaches endlessly about working counts, pitch recognition, and the importance of getting on base. But Satin, with a .399 lifetime minor league OBP has never been considered an option. I find it curious, and then it makes me wonder, do we really value OBP? This Satin thing has me thinking about it, and honestly, it confuses me.

Now it’s hard to talk about Satin right now without bringing up Ike Davis. Ike Davis is the anti-Satin. Davis has big power, he hit 32 home runs just last year. He also had a .308 OBP last year. He has followed that up with the miserable year we have seen so far, the one that finally led to his being sent down and Satin getting his shot. A shot that Satin seized and used to show that maybe (yes, of course only maybe) he could do similar things in the majors to what he has done in the minors. But it didn’t matter, not even a little bit. As soon as Davis hit just enough to possibly justify a promotion, he is back. This once again confuses me. Not so much that a team would try so hard to salvage Davis’s power, I like power quite a bit and get that. But that this team, the one that I thought was being molded for patience and approach, would be so starry eyed over Davis.

Houston Astros Announce Signing of Carlos PenaWe know Billy Beane had a similar situation on his hand in 2002. It’s become quite the famous one, where Beane, who valued OBP, wanted Scott Hatteberg to play and Carlos Pena to sit. Now Josh Satin, with what is definitely known as a small sample size, may not turn out to be Scott Hatteberg. The only way we can find out, though, is to get him major league at bats. Davis, on the other hand, has been around long enough to show that Pena is a good comparison. So, if it sounds like a big complaint from me, actually it is not. I’m not Beane. It’s just weird to me because I thought the whole premise behind Alderson was that he shared Beane’s values. We are seeing that in this case he does not.

Now look, I would never pretend that I was ever clamoring for Josh Satin. There have been others who have, the staff of Mets 360 has mentioned Satin many times, and Jeffrey Paternostro of Amazin’ Avenue has been on nothing short of a personal crusade for Josh for a long time. With what Satin has done so far they look pretty savvy. I would read their posts and find them intriguing but could never quite get there. He is still a corner, and I still like my corners to hit for power. I have respect for OBP but am more wary than some as to its relative importance.

I find it interesting that Sandy Alderson might be more like me than I thought.

Now that would be a scary thought.

 

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13 comments

  1. michael says:

    Any thought of trying Eric Young at shortstop? would solve all problems

  2. Funny thing about Carlos Pena and OBP, he ended up posting OBP’s of ..411, .377 and .356 (with a .227 batting average) for Tampa Bay from 2007-09. And beginning in 2007 up through last year, he drew the following walk totals: 103, 96, 87, 87, 101, 87. So, in effect, he became the player Billy Beane thought he was replacing him with. Ironically, Hatteberg never drew more than 74 walks in a season, and his annual on-base percentages were generally similar to Pena’s. The main difference is that Pena ended up hitting with much more power than Hatteberg. Also, Pena was a 24-year old kid when Beane gave up on him. Hatteberg was already approaching age 32.

  3. The other Ike thing I find curious is that Wednesday I see that Terry Collins says Ike Davis is not on the horizon, and then by Thursday night he is on his way to Milwaukee. The comical chain of communication between the Mets decision makers remains perplexing at best.

  4. Eric says:

    Focusing on Satin… Guaranteed, he’s more than THRILLED to be getting MLB service time with a chance to win a role.

    He doesn’t profile as an ED player at first glance…that doesn’t mean that he can’t be one. He CAN be a MLB’er carrying several gloves with capacity for spot starts and late, productive at bats. He doesn’t need to be “better” than Ike Davis or to be an alternative to Davis. If Satin can play some LF and spot at the corners and 2b (in a pinch) he would provide a bit of depth and horsepower off the bench

    • But can he throw a whip cream pie and grew a beard like a true Kringle?

    • Michael Geus says:

      Yes, I don’t mean to portray this as Satin or Davis. I do think the rush back of Davis is weird, it was a good chance to see what Satin could do. A few more weeks in Triple A for Ike seemed logical to me.

      What I find the strangest with Satin is that he has never been called up for the role you describe. It took a lot to go wrong to get him here, the front office certainly cannot like him.

      And we hear about OBP all the time, but Valdespin is lefty, cannot field, and he is the backup to Murphy. And he never gets on base. Satin is right handed and known for getting on base. Figuring he cannot field that is a push.

      Again, I find it weird, the guys they pick versus the things they say.

  5. Eric says:

    As for Valdy— he ALSO is undefined, IMHO. The 5x per week Pinch hitter role is not a normal place to ease a young guy. It’s not reasonable to expect a 23 year old guy to channel Manny Mota.

    You cannot have loads and loads of young, debutant players at the same time—all of them need ab’s most every day–here or at aa/aaa. If Valdy is not “in-cycle’ now, he should be at aaa. This is the same sort of abyss that trapped Lagares for a couple of months.

    I’m not arguing that either Lagares OR Valdy is a long term guy— I just think they need some cohesion to their process of deciding—they’re accomplishing NOTHING with Valdy right now—better to let Bixler (or whomever) sit on the bench here and Valdy to play at AAA—-

    OH…and TERRY—- STFU!!!!!

  6. Eric says:

    (I’m about to hi-jack the topic…I apologize, but I value the input of the folks who read and post here…..Mike and Jim—Feel free to dump this and we can discuss it at a later time.)

    Next Year’s Menu according to me: CF, Starting Pitcher, Professional Corner OF Bat( “Cody Ross” type…Andre Ethier….)

    I believe they need to “double down” with a veteran starter. You can ALWAYS address Too Many SP’s…you can never address too few.

    IF the Mets are not going to market BYRD, should they extend him now? Is he I’m guessing a 4 million price tag in Pocket may do it. I’m saying this/asking this, although I’m nOT a true believer in him…that said, he has a 10 year “baseball card” that says “Professional Outfielder”.

    That put’s them a BIG trade/Sign away from a CF’er and another move for a Starting Pitcher.

    I support Over Selling Parnell NOW— and I believe Mets can compete and be a playoff team next year. Those of you ( and the FO) who may believe in Parnell–I will understand that you may want to keep him—I don’t believe.

    That said— they can be a good club next year.

    • Guys like Byrd, they fall in the “don’t forget Ray” category to me. As a young teenager I bemoaned Frank Cashen’s flippancy of dismissal to Ray Knight following the 1986 season. Then Ray Knight played in just two more seasons. For a while I lived under the delusion that had he stayed in Queens he would have been better. I basically created a broken heart scenario for him.

      Byrd is a mediocre major league baseball player (which is sensational given the odds) having one of his better years at the latter half of 30. Doubling down on that would be ill advised. Especially given this front offices inability to build a bullpen. Dollars will be precious.

      Parnell may stink in the long run. But having watch Frank Francisco, having remembered the KRod, having watched what happened when Billy Wagner’s elbow exploded, I will take my chances with Parnell.

  7. James Preller says:

    Knight is such an interesting case. Statistically, it’s cut and dried. However, there are many reporters and players who swear that letting him go was a huge mistake, super valuable in the clubhouse. Who knows!

  8. Eric says:

    If they would have switched from COKE to Pepsi the Clubhouse would have been just fine!

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