Don’t bet on Lucas Duda playing the outfield

Lucas DudaIke Davis is still a New York Met.  Despite months of dangling the inconsistent slugger the past two months, Sandy Alderson has failed to find any takers for Davis.  Reports have had teams like Milwaukee and Baltimore inquiring the Mets for a deal, but nothing ever materialized.  Lucas Duda, in the meantime, has been getting in shape periodically at a fitness camp in Ann Arbor, Michigan most likely with the idea he was to take over as the everyday first baseman this season.  However, as the calendar approaches February, his only realistic competition, Davis, is still looming on the roster.  Recently, Alderson has said Duda will “expect to get some time in the outfield, but that will be decided in spring training.”  That statement could garner some logic with the hopes of getting Davis and Duda both in the lineup…but don’t bet it on it.

It would be logical to emphasize the latter part of Alderson’s statement, especially the word “decided.”  The Mets have over $20 million dollars allocated on two free agent outfielder acquisitions for next year in Curtis Granderson and Chris Young.   While it can be easily assumed Granderson will be an everyday contributor, Alderson has publically said that C.Young will get significant playing time as well.   Once you stir into the mix National League stolen base leader Eric Young, and the gold glove caliber Juan Lagares, it really makes little sense to add the Bunyanesque Duda to the corps that will patrol Citi Field’s mass expanses.  Duda has proven to be a liability in the outfield, and sitting two of the projected outfielders would not be maximizing the roster’s full potential.

There are still about three weeks until players have to report to spring training.  The scope of the 25 man roster is becoming clearer, but the possible co-existence of Davis and Duda is still very much unclear.  The devotion of roster spots to both first basemen doesn’t seem to maximize the value of the roster in any way.  If Duda is going to be a Met, his job is to play first base on a semi-daily basis, with Josh Satin spelling him on days a tough lefty starts against them.   A three way platoon and spot starts for Duda in the outfield would look to be regressive options for a team looking to progress.  If a competition does ensue for the first base job, it should end before Opening Day.  Davis and Duda have already displayed inconsistency, and although much of it is due to their mechanics and approach, sensitive egos seem to be hovering under the surface.  One of them will need to grab the job and run with it.  If Davis wins the job, Duda needs to be traded or vice versa.

At a public relations perspective, it makes sense to say Duda will get some outfield work.   Alderson cannot come right out and say only Duda OR Davis will be on the Opening Day roster, it wouldn’t be practical. Rest assured though, when March 31st rolls around, and Mets fans watch the pre-game announcements of the players at Citi Field, don’t bet on hearing both of their names.

14 comments for “Don’t bet on Lucas Duda playing the outfield

  1. Robert McCutchan
    January 24, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I think a more appropriate title for this article might be simply, “Don’t bet on Lucas Duda” period! Is there anyone with an ounce of common sense who has seen any major league potential in this waste of human flesh? He chokes up in big spots, can’t drive on runs except if their driven in on his own home runs, which would be fine if he hit 40 or so with runners on base, but he doesn’t! He can’t field, he can’t hit in the clutch, and he has absolutely no self confidence in his ‘ability’ whatsoever. Which is understandable considering he doesn’t have much ability. The man is a walking Ponzi scheme at best!

    • blaiseda
      January 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Waste of human flesh? Please, get a life. There are only about 900 humans who get the opportunity to play in the bigs each year. So unless you are Andrew McCutchen (trying to disguise your name), i think it’s best you keep the comments in the realm of reality. Duda aint perfect far from it… but he can turn on a fastball like few others can.

    • Name
      January 24, 2014 at 6:02 pm

      Robert, that’s a great description of Ike Davis!

      Player A: .246/.342/.424 114+ OPS
      Player B: .242/.334/.434 112+ OPS

      Can you tell the difference?

      Player A has never been guaranteed anything, has had to learn and endure the pain of learning a position he clearly isn’t suited for. Player B has had everything handed to him on a silver platter.

      There’s no reason to comment if you can’t back up your statements.

  2. Patrick Albanesius
    January 24, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    That is a lot of hate for The Dude, or as my father-in-law calls him, Dud-a. Much has been made of his OBP and his potential to platoon with Satin, so disregarding him outright would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Ike Davis hasn’t shown anything in the past year to oust Duda from first, so unless that happens Duda has to be at least a somewhat realistic option for the Mets. Granted, it doesn’t bode well if both are on the roster to start the season, but the Mets can’t force anyone to trade for whoever loses the battle in ST.

    • Sean Flattery
      January 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      It really would be unfortunate for the Mets not to get a return on one of these guys because I do think both will have a career in the majors somehow, even if its a career platooning as a DH. The waiting game is getting old really quick though, sooner more than later they will have to just pull the plug on one of them

  3. Robert McCutchan
    January 24, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I think to use the word hate is a bit strong, I by no means hate him. I simply think he is not a major league ballplayer. To say that I hate him is not only strong language but an indication of a lack of understanding between critiquing him as a man and as a ballplayer. As a man I’m sure he is a fine fellow. As a ballplayer I think he should instead look for a career perhaps in K-Marts executive training program.

    • blaiseda
      January 24, 2014 at 4:01 pm

      Lets hope you’re career isn’t comedian.

  4. Robert McCutchan
    January 24, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    And lets hope yours isn’t in teaching English sentence structures!

  5. Robert McCutchan
    January 24, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    You clould very well be right! Both seem like head cases. But I’d give more of an upside to Ike. At least he has the potential to prosper on a regular basis. But his track record to date leaves that more of a wish than reality. But could very well be right!

  6. January 25, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Duda is er suited for the American League where he can DH and play an occasional first base, It’s like trying to decide the lesser of two evils.

  7. January 25, 2014 at 12:22 am

    Sorry should read better suited.

  8. Scott Ferguson
    January 25, 2014 at 7:01 am

    I have a weird feeling they’re both going to be on the team, with Duda playing some OF, DH and 1B.
    The feeling could be that they won’t lose much defensively if he plays alongside a combo of Lagares, Young and Granderson.
    I don’t agree and think they need to deal Duda or Davis.

  9. Metsense
    January 25, 2014 at 7:43 am

    The Duda/Davis dilemma has been playing out over the past two years. Sean, you are so correct when you wrote “A three way platoon and spot starts for Duda in the outfield would look to be regressive options for a team looking to progress”. Alderson’s indecision on this matter is a black mark on his tenure as GM. If Matt Joyce was offered last November then the trigger should have been pulled, for all the reasons you state in this fine article.

    • Chris F
      January 25, 2014 at 10:14 am

      Exactly right Metsense. This first base matter is a deep stain on the Alderson era, as I believe wasting 7M on Young, and thereby stunting growth Lagares and den Dekker as possible every day MLB center fielders, at a time when the stakes are for certain lower (say compared to ’15 or more importantly ’16).

      The amount of grief caused by Alderson here certainly does not comport with the fact that not a single player is an every day major leaguer. We could easily have found some pitching prospects to go after Trumbo, who had no home in Anaheim and an angel team desperate for pitchers. SA may be talking about ’14, much like every past season, but we have an island of misfit toys on the present roster and in now way will come close to the playoffs. I would not be taking developmental time away for possible home grown talent for short term FAs under the guise of being competitive. I don’t buy it. No siree.

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