GM Huntington believes first baseman's bat will be good fit at PNC Park
George Von Benko
Special to MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates finally got the first baseman they had been seeking when they acquired Ike Davis from the New York Mets in exchange for Minor League right-handed pitcher Zack Thornton and a player to be named.
"We found the right fit," Pirates GM Neal Huntington said. "These deals are about finding that common ground, and after a number of conversations, we found it."
Davis was hitting .208 (5-for-24) with a double, a home run, five RBIs and four runs scored in 12 games this year for the Mets before being acquired by Pittsburgh.
The 27-year-old Davis hit .205 (65-for-317) with 14 doubles, nine home runs and 33 RBIs in 103 games last year for New York prior to suffering a season-ending right oblique strain on Aug. 31. In his final two months of the 2013 campaign, the left-handed-hitting Davis hit .267 (35-for-131) with 11 doubles, four homers and 17 RBIs in 48 games.
"He does a really nice job against right-handed pitchers in his career," Huntington explained. "He's had two big seasons and two injury-plagued seasons, and we're betting that our guys can get him back on the right track, and we're betting that he's a better fit in this ballpark than he was in what used to be spacious Citi Field. He's a very nice complement for Gaby Sanchez and a guy that we think his good days are ahead of him again."
Davis was selected 18th overall in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by the Mets and made his big league debut in 2010, where he hit .264 (138-for-523) with 33 doubles, 19 home runs and 71 RBIs in 147 games.
In 2012, he recorded a career-high 32 home runs and 90 RBIs. His 32 homers were tied for the fifth-most among all National League players and his average of one home run every 16.2 at-bats ranked second among National League players behind Ryan Braun (14.59).
"The word platoon gets thrown around a lot," Huntington said. "I think this will be where [manager] Clint Hurdle uses his judgment. I truly think this will allow Clint to use his bench a little more as a bench than as ... a platoon bench that he's had to do to this point this year, but certainly you look at the numbers and they complement each other very well.