Nathan Grimm

Baseball Daily Dose

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Daily Dose: Strike On Ike?

Friday, July 05, 2013


Ike Davis has seen the beginning of this movie before. Now, he hopes it has a similar ending.

After a three-week stint with Triple-A Las Vegas to get his mind and swing right, Davis will be recalled by the Mets in time for Friday's game in Milwaukee. Following his first 55 games in which he hit .161/.242/.258 with five home runs, Davis was demoted to Las Vegas on June 9. It was the equivalent of hitting rock bottom for a player with Davis' talent.

Except that it wasn't, because Davis was in the exact same spot just a year before. Through 55 games in 2012, Davis' line looked eerily similar to the line he put up before his demotion. The first baseman hit .161/.237/.278 line with five home runs to start last season as well.

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The cause for optimism isn't that Davis has started slowly in two consecutive years; it's what the 26-year-old did in the second half of last season that should pique the interest of fantasy players. From July 5 on, Davis hit .254/.341/.542 with 21 home runs. He finished the year with 32 homers and 90 RBI.

There are no guarantees, but much like last year his recent production with Las Vegas suggests the next three months could be more kind to Davis than the first three. In 21 games with the Triple-A affiliate, Davis hit .293/.424/.667 with seven home runs. He had just one fewer walk (17) than strikeout (18) in those 21 games.

There's little competition at the first base position for Davis in New York, so he's not getting recalled to sit on the bench. He'll be given every opportunity to break out and replicate last season's second half. And due to his power potential, Davis is a low-risk, high-reward flyer for owners in search of home runs and RBI.

Precious CarGo

Carlos Gonzalez has done plenty of damage swinging the bat this season. On Thursday, a swing inflicted some damage on him as well.

Gonzalez strained his upper back during a swing in the fifth inning of Thursday's game against the Dodgers, and he was removed an inning later. He was 1-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored at the time of his exit.

He has already expressed a desire to start Friday's game, but it would be wise for the Rockies to err on the side of caution with their star outfielder. The 27-year-old has had a monster first half, hitting .295/.362/.605 with 23 home runs and 15 stolen bases. He won't be given any hardware for it, but an easy case could be made that CarGo has been the MVP of the National League through the first half of the season.

The Rockies have already said he's day-to-day with the injury, so it wouldn't be surprising if he missed at least Friday's game. A DL stint will likely not be necessary, but those in daily leagues should consider benching him before Friday's game. More should be known about his injury and availability when he arrives at the ballpark Friday afternoon.

Healin' Of Troy

Gonzalez is the runaway MVP in the season's first half in part because his teammate Troy Tulowitzki has been sidelined with a broken rib, but that may be changing soon.

Tulo has been out since June 13 when an MRI showed the rib fracture, but on Thursday he said he's improving and could be back in a matter of days.

"I don't know, because every day is a little bit different," Tulowitzki told the Denver Post of when asked when he might return. "In five days I might feel great. But really, getting back has nothing to do with the All-Star Game, it has everything to do with getting back for the team."

A return so soon would have represented a best-case scenario for the shortstop when he went down with the injury. Estimates at the time reported he would miss anywhere from four-to-six weeks; Tulowitzki will hit the four week mark on July 11.

If nothing else, Thursday's news suggests Tulo will be back sooner than later, which is good news for owners of the 28-year-old. Tulo was hitting .347/.413/.635 with 16 home runs before the injury and was clearly the class of the shortstop position. Whether it's before or shortly after the All-Star break, Tulowitzki will be returning to a lineup near you shortly.

National League Quick Hits: Carl Crawford (hamstring) will likely be activated by the Dodgers on Friday. His presence will likely relegate Andre Ethier to a bench role going forward ... Edward Mujica blew his first save of the season on Thursday. He'd been a perfect 21-for-21 before the loss, and his job as Cardinals closer isn't in question ... Yasiel Puig (hip) started and drove in a run Thursday. He was day-to-day after colliding with the outfield wall in Wednesday's game ... Matt Holliday (back) returned to the Cardinals lineup on Thursday. He went hitless in three at-bats as the team's DH ... Evan Gattis (oblique) took 20-25 swings off a tee on Thursday with no issues. He could be back before the break if all goes well ... Matt Kemp homered for a second consecutive game. The outfielder had just two in his previous 58 games this year ... stop me if you've heard this one before: Heath Bell blew a save opportunity.

American League Quick Hits: Alex Gordon underwent concussion tests on Thursday. He's dealing with the effects of crashing into the outfield fence during Wednesday's game, and he could be sidelined for a handful of games with a hip contusion regardless of the concussion symptoms ... Derek Jeter (ankle) says he's ready to play in rehab games. A timetable for his estimated return should be available shortly ... Josh Hamilton hit a game-tying, two-run home run in the ninth inning of Thursday's game. After an awful start, the outfielder is hitting .400 (12-for-30) in his last nine games and seems to be getting back on track at the plate ... the White Sox promoted catching prospect Josh Phegley to compete with current starter Tyler Flowers. Phegley has a .316/.368/.597 line with 15 home runs at Triple-A Charlotte this year ... Matt Tuiasosopo (strained intercostal) was activated from the disabled list by the Tigers. He's been a pleasant surprise off the bench for Detroit this season ... Eduardo Nunez (oblique) had his rehab assignment moved up to Double-A Trenton. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said it's possible he could be back with the club before the All-Star break ... Wei-Yin Chen (oblique) pitched seven scoreless innings in what should be his final rehab start with Double-A Bowie. He'll join the Orioles rotation sometime next week ... Brett Wallace hit two home runs and drove in four runs Thursday. He's got three homers and nine RBI in eight games since being recalled ... Mike Pelfrey was activated from the 15-day disabled list. P.J. Walters was designated for assignment to make room for Big Pelf.



Nathan Grimm is a baseball writer for Rotoworld. He can also be found on Twitter (@Nate_Grimm).
Email :Nathan Grimm



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