When your team is shut out by Livan Hernandez, it's time to start thinking about ways to help the anemic lineup. Ike Davis is hitting .385 in the minors, while Mike Jacobs, even after today's homer, is at .133. And that's as part of a platoon - Jacobs has only batted against righties.
Davis and Jacobs have each played only a few games, but Davis is a top prospect who had a great spring, while Jacobs was released in the offseason by the Royals.
Unfortunately, Davis, like every other top prospect this year besides Atlanta's Jason Heyward, is likely to spend a few weeks in the minors whether he is ready or not.
As Yahoo's Jeff Passan writes:
If a team parks a player in the minor leagues for at least 20 days to begin the season, it can delay his free agency by one year. Teams looking to save money go a step further and keep players down for about two months, which prevents them from gaining the Super 2 status that gives the top 17 percent of any service class an extra year of salary arbitration.
The Mets did start the season with Jenrry Mejia and Ruben Tejada (Tejada was just sent down). But Tejada is not a prospect on the same level as Davis. As for Mejia, he will not be in line for a big contract if he remains a middle reliever or becomes the setup man.
According to Passan, keeping Stephen Strasburg in the minors for a couple of months could save the Nationals at least $20 million. Davis is not as big a prospect as Strasburg, but delaying Davis' free agency, assuming Davis has the success we all hope he has, will also save millions.
Strasburg won his minor-league debut today, striking out eight in five innings while allowing one earned run.
Which brings up the silver lining for the Mets in the arbitration rules. The fans may like Ike more than the Mets do, at least for the next few weeks, but the longer Strasburg stays in the minors, the better the chances that the Mets, currently alone in last place, will at least catch the Nationals.