As one of our readers pointed out yesterday, the Mets basically have four first basemen as part of their everyday defensive alignment. Ike Davis of course, but then you have Daniel Murphy at 2B, Lucas Duda in RF, and Josh Thole behind the plate.
On this recent road trip we saw just how ugly things could get particularly in RF and 2B where we saw some costly errors including a few that were not charged as errors but ugly nonetheless.
I asked some of our writers what they thought:
Will Murphy and Duda’s offense make up
for the games they’ll cost on defense?
Joe Spector: Neither player will win gold gloves but as long as the make the routine plays without many incidents, then I’m fine with them. Duda will never be an Andre Dawson defensively similarly Murphy will not be a Ryne Sandberg.
Gregg Hopps: A split decision on Murph & Duda as well. Murph has proven to be a big league hitter. I’ll take his bat in the line up and hope for the best on defense. So far this season, Duda has appeared to be over matched at the plate. He had one good game on offense. I hope his bat wakes up, if not the Mets will have a big problem.
Daniel Budick: If Duda could be a little more consistent at the plate I would say so, with Murphy I think he will continue to improve defensively.
Tyler Moore: Sure. I don’t think they’ll really cost any games on defense. They’ll make mistakes, but that’s the only way they’ll be able to learn.
XtreemIcon: Murphy, yes. Duda, we’ll have to wait to see what kind of bat he develops. Don’t forget, Murphy already saved a game with his glove. It’ll be rough, and there will be times I want to lead the lynch mob, but with enough reps, he’ll improve. With his bat, all the Mets need out of Murphy is league-average defense.
Brandon Butler: I am extremely pleased with Murph and Duda offensively. But because of their poor defense, I think it doesn’t make it up for it.
Dan Valis: Offense always makes up for poor defense, but it needs to be steady offense. Duda has flashed power but needs to start to string together some base hits. If Murphy hits .300 I don’t think anyone will mind if he makes errors, as long as he doesn’t set a Major League record in the process!
Greg Pomes: Their bats are not worth the extra outs their defense gives away.
Satish Ram: I am beginning to question that. Duda would make a great DH in the AL because he has more pop than Murphy. I wonder if we will look into trading him because of that. Murphy is an overall great hitter, so I’ll put up with him for the moment. The problem is, a successful team shouldn’t have more than one of these guys where you have to sacrifice defense for offense – especially on the same side of the field.
Petey Pete: Duda: YES Murphy: NO - Duda is not as bad a fielder as people make him out to be, and he has a decent throwing arm. A big run producing guy like him is going to have to play somewhere, and if you can’t play him at first, then a corner outfield spot is the next best thing. He is going to produce a lot of runs for us so deal with it. Murphy on the other hand is not as good a fielder at second as Duda is in RF, and he has next to no baseball instincts. Even if he made all the plays on balls hit his way, which he doesn’t, he still has major problems with his footwork, his range to his left, his positioning on cut-offs from the outfield, and he often forgets to cover the bag. What’s more, is he’s not nearly the run producer that Duda is. He may score as many runs, and hit as many doubles, but he won’t out-homer, out-RBI, or out-slug the Big Duda.
It looks like we have a couple of split decisions, and then Greg and Brandon as the only ones who say that Duda and Murphy wont make up for their lackluster defense with their bats.
I’m on the same page as Satish here. Maybe we can afford one of Thole, Murphy or Duda, but three? That’s asking for trouble.
I have to add that I love how diversified our community is at MMO, and how the varied opinions really do make it feel like a fair representation of the Mets fan base. This is everything you could want from a fansite.
On Deck: Here Comes Reyes…