How long will Lucas Duda’s job be safe?

lucas dudaWith the New York Mets calling up Wilmer Flores and toying with the idea of replacing Jenrry Mejia in the rotation, the team is certainly trying to mix things up and give the team an added boost.

Will there be any other moves? Who’s jobs are safe?

One such player who has to start pulling his weight is first baseman Lucas Duda. We can excuse him for missing Friday night’s game for feeling under the weather.

After the Mets finally traded away Ike Davis, it gave Duda the prime opportunity to seize the job and run with it. He hasn’t exactly lit it up. Since the Mets traded away Davis on April 18, Duda is 14-54 with one home run and seven RBI’s in 17 games. Overall he has a .266/.355/.425 slash line to go with four home runs and 15 RBI’s in 94 at-bats.

Granted, that’s still a small sample size, but he has not given the Mets the lift many thought he can when they decided to give up on Ike Davis. (side note, Davis is not exactly on fire with the Pirates either).

First base is usually a power position and the Mets would ideally like to get more offense from it. If Duda continues to underwhelm, eventually the Mets might make the call to bring up Allan Dykstra.

With a name like Dykstra, he’s already ahead of the curve with Mets’ fans.

Seriously, though, Dykstra has some pop in his bat and perhaps he can rejuvenate the Mets slumbering bats. In 86 at-bats with the Las Vegas 51′s, Dykstra is sporting an impressive .326/.478/.628 slash line with five home runs, 11 doubles and a team-leading 31 RBI’s.

Now, we have to take those numbers with a grain of salt considering he plays his games in the Pacific Coast League, which is a haven for hitters. But prior to arriving in Las Vegas, Dykstra did hit 21 home runs in 372 at-bats last year in Binghamton. Scouts have said that Dykstra has decent power and sooner or later the Mets might be impulsed to roll the dice on him if Duda can’t cut it.

As a lefty though, if the Mets recall Dykstra, they might put themselves in a another sticky situation like they did when they rostered both Duda and Davis. Two lefty first basemen will not cut it, since you really can’t platoon the both of them and neither will play in the outfield.

With the offense sputtering and, outside of making trades, something has to be done soon. Perhaps Duda needs more time to establish himself with Davis now gone. But if he falters, the Mets just may make another move.

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19 comments for “How long will Lucas Duda’s job be safe?

  1. Jim OMalley
    May 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Some miscellaneous thoughts about first: Eric Campbell just got called up. Looks like Satin is done for. Although Duda had a positive offensive contribution, he is subtracting more on his defense. Watching balls bounce out of his glove is gut-wrenching. The Giants just lost Belt for 6 weeks. Maybe they make an exchange with them.

  2. Metsense
    May 10, 2014 at 11:29 am

    In 2013 the NL Avg first baseman hit 21 HR, with a slash of 341/427/768. Lucas Duda hit 15HR, 352/415/767 in 318 AB’s and on his career his slash line is,342/424/766 with an average of 24 homeruns per 599 AB’s. In 2014 he is still on pace for 24 homeruns and has a 355/426/781 slash. How consistent is that? Why do you expect more? He is a consistent average NL first baseman playing to his potential. He is not the problem to the offense.
    The following players have OPS below the average for their position.
    TDA -85, Wright -31, Chris Young -65, Eric Young -156, Granderson -200, Tejada -172, and Satin the other half of the platoon -325. It seems to me that other people should be worrying about their job security not the consistent Duda who is playing as expected.

    • Chris F
      May 10, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      Metsense: well put!

      • SL
        May 12, 2014 at 8:48 pm

        I’m not going to argue about the quality of the other players, but the problem with your analysis is, as always, the mythologic ‘average’ player. This includes all the fill ins, part timers, late season call ups, injury replacements etc.
        The better comparison is to look at players with 500+ PA’s at the position.
        Duda is a dud, and clearly not the answer at first base under any system of evaluation.
        It’s not my team, but I to this day simply do not understand the Chris Young signing. He’s always been bad, and even worse, he is exactly the opposite of what Alderson supposedly preaches. However, since both he and Granderson are costing big bucks, they will play.
        EY is a 4th or 5th outfielder so where you come up with the comparison #’s I’m not sure. We all know Tejada’s problems and he’s now been replaced

        • Jerry Grote
          May 13, 2014 at 9:53 am

          I thought other readers might be interested in the numbers SL refers ..

          In 2013, there were 26 1B that got 450 ABs.

          Slash – .266/.350/.461 to a total of 811 OPS.
          HR – 24
          RBI – 83
          R – 72
          Average # games 149.

          If Duda had 450 ABs, two things would have happened. First, the average for all first baseman would have come down. Second, Duda would have been 15th of 27 first baseman – or slightly below average.

          • Jerry Grote
            May 13, 2014 at 9:58 am

            Of course, what this infers is that you have a pretty lumpy curve going on in the standard deviation. The top four players (Davis, Freeman, Goldschmidt, Votto) are so much entirely into a different league as to make it silly.

            Much as I hate to say this, it makes the trade of Ike Davis much more damning. I don’t believe anyone might have said Duda could have been Goldschmidt. But there is certainly evidence that Ike Davis might have been. Duda was and will never be much more than an average 1B.

            FWIW, Ike Davis over his last seven games is somewhere around a 1.4 OPS.

            • Name
              May 13, 2014 at 3:21 pm

              Are those numbers correct? I only found 17 1b that got 450 ABs.
              And if you performed the same exercise with Davis, where would he have been? Last?

              “But there is certainly evidence that Ike Davis might have been”
              Where? What? I’ve been trying to find it for a few years now. Are you referring to his 36 game sample in 2011?
              If so, Duda had an even more impressive 36 game sample in at the end of 2011.

              I don’t think anyone thinks that Duda will be a top 1b, but to say Davis will be is a fallacy because other than having hit more HR’s to date and the round in which they were chosen in the draft, all their other rate stats in both the major and minor leagues are almost identical.

              They are literally the same player with the same potential and, at the end of the year, will likely have the similar stats. But Duda is more consistent, is cheaper and has 1 more year of control than Davis.

              Ike Davis over 12 games before his hot stretch was at .381 OPS.

              • Jerry Grote
                May 13, 2014 at 3:39 pm

                Name Team G AB
                Chris Davis Orioles 160 584
                Freddie Freeman Braves 147 551
                Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks 160 602
                Joey Votto Reds 162 581
                Edwin Encarnacion Blue Jays 142 530
                Adam Lind Blue Jays 143 465
                Brandon Moss Athletics 145 446
                Brandon Belt Giants 150 509
                Mike Napoli Red Sox 139 498
                Allen Craig Cardinals 134 508
                Prince Fielder Tigers 162 624
                Adrian Gonzalez Dodgers 157 583
                Eric Hosmer Royals 159 623
                James Loney Rays 158 549
                Adam Dunn White Sox 149 525
                Chris Carter Astros 148 506
                Nick Swisher Indians 145 549
                Mark Trumbo Angels 159 620
                Adam LaRoche Nationals 152 511
                Anthony Rizzo Cubs 160 606
                Justin Smoak Mariners 131 454
                Mitch Moreland Rangers 147 462
                Justin Morneau - – - 152 572
                Mark Reynolds - – - 135 445
                Lyle Overbay Yankees 142 445
                Paul Konerko White Sox 126 467

                The alignment doesn’t quite work (cut and paste from Excel), but these were the results from fangraphs.

                Regarding Ike Davis – Goldschmidt, other than my subscription to Baseball Mogul (!), BB-Ref places Davis’ most likely comp at age 24 to Paul Goldschmidt. (at age 25, interesting to note the comps include Bob Robertson, Delgado, Ortiz and Mo Vaughn).

                Yup, I know about Davis’ cold streak before the hot streak. BUT … he hasn’t been that hot since 2012. To each his own, but it indicates to me on some level what we once saw in him is not dead. I had no evidence of that truly since 2012.

              • Jerry Grote
                May 13, 2014 at 4:15 pm

                and specifically to Goldschmidt, without looking, tell me which one was Davis:

                slash:
                .276/.353/.487 or
                .271/.357/.460

                which of the two hit 26 HRs and driven in 96 runs, or 28 HR and 108 runs?

                which of the two had accumulated 4.5 WAR or 3.8 WAR?

                Both had appeared in the majors for two years, in nearly the same games and gotten the same ABs. They were in fact nearly identical.

                The comp to Mo Vaughn is downright scary as well, when Davis is 25. Both had been in the major leagues for three years at that point. Mo goes on to average 38 HR and 118 RBI, a 946 OPS and 139+ OPS plus. until he is age 32.

                • Name
                  May 13, 2014 at 5:36 pm

                  Ok i see. I was using ESPN, and i guess Fangraphs is a little more lax in classifying guys as first basemen.

                  I took a look at the similarity scores… and they are really lax on the Games played similarity. The penalty for a difference of 20 games played is just 1 point which i do not agree with.
                  36 games (Davis) vs 145 games (Goldschmidt) is very large gap.

                  And throughout the same amount of Games(2010 thru June2012): Duda

                  .267/.348/.447
                  25 HRs 107 RBIs

                  Identical!

                  But i’m not sure why we are looking at stats from 3 years ago. Both Davis/Duda are clearly not those guys anymore and it doesn’t make sense to compare to someone younger than you as they are behind you career-wise.
                  I can tell you Arizona fans are happily comparing Goldy to Adrian Gonzalez rather than Ike Davis.

  3. Name
    May 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Sorry, I couldn’t disagree more with this article. Lucas Duda has been the most consistent producer this for the Mets (Lagares was hurt for a bit or else he would be here and Murphy has been streaky)
    I’m not sure what more you want from him. Overall, i think .266 average is about what he is, maybe he can get it up a tick higher to .270-.280. His OBP of .355 is near his career high of .370. Sure, he could probably slug a bit more, but it’s still early so a good series (2 Hr’s in 3 days) could easily boost SLG/OPS by 50 to 100 points. He’s also been much more aggressive this year, swinging at 42% of pitches this year compared to 39% in 12-13.

    Like Chris has said, there are other moves to make before worrying about Duda.

    • Dan Stack
      May 10, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      I somewhat I agree now. Maybe I overreacted. I had it all wrong too with the Mets calling up Campbell, but the question still remains, when would they consider bringing up Dykstra?

      • Name
        May 10, 2014 at 12:51 pm

        I certainly wouldn’t mind swapping him for Abreu, i see no value with him on the roster. But either way both guys would be the 25th man and would make very little difference in terms of wins and losses.

        • Dan Stack
          May 10, 2014 at 3:01 pm

          For a second there, I thought you meant you wouldn’t mind swapping Duda for Jose Abreu. LOL.

          Good gosh, is he killing it. Imagine if Sandy rolled the dice there. The contract he signed now looks like a bargain.

          • Name
            May 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm

            Abreu is killing it, but it doesn’t mean he made sense for the Mets. You can’t just look at a move in isolation. Fact is, the Mets already had 3 first basemen on the roster and would have needed to unloaded at least 2 of the 3 before signing Abreu. There were also legitimate concerns regarding his defense, and the Mets don’t have the luxury of the DH as a fallback.

            • Chris F
              May 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm

              None of which we needed name. I’m ok with Duda as the best of the 3, but I’m saying it is time to move on. We could have Left him in aaa for all I care. The minute Trumbo or Abreu would have been at 1B is the minute you never would have mentioned the name Ike Duda or satin ever again.

              Murph is only passable at 2B and of course SS is a disaster. Catcher may be too.

              If I were GM there would be new faces in big roles, and we would have lost some people we like.

              • Name
                May 10, 2014 at 6:41 pm

                Trumbo had a big start, but he’s regressed back to the mean. Look at his stats now, Not sure what you see in him. He would have cost us 2 big time prospects too.
                Sounds like your frustration is talking, but you’ve got crazy expectations if what Murphy has done is only passable. He’s got the 6th highest OPS among 2nd basemen and even has a positive UZR/150 so far this season. 6th highest in fWAR too. So far he’s even outpacing Cano in all stats except for RBI’s.

                The only player i thought we missed on was Choo. Look at what he’s done so far… i would have spent our whole offseason budget just for him.

  4. May 11, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Murph to first?
    Wilmer to second?
    Stephen Drew to SS?

    Duda to ______ for prospect??

  5. Patrick Albanesius
    May 12, 2014 at 10:24 am

    It’s possible that San Francisco might want Duda, but they aren’t going to give up much for him as he’s a temporary fix. Plus Brandon Belt being out it gives Buster Posey a chance to rest those knees at first, and their backup catcher Hector Sanchez is supposedly a very fine defender, so they don’t need Duda all that much. I don’t any team besides the Mets really does.

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