More Thoughts On Benching Davis In Favor Of Duda Against LHP
Yesterday, Terry Collins announced that Lucas Duda will play first base against left-handed pitching for the remainder of the season.
That of course translates into first baseman Ike Davis riding the pine against left-handed pitching from here on in, thus becoming a platoon player at least for the rest of this season.
Knowing the type of intense player Ike Davis is, you have to think he must be seething about this. He was going nuts not being able to play with that busted ankle, let alone now as he leads the team in home runs and RBI.
Is this is a message form the organization to Davis that they see him mostly as a platoon guy at first base who can’t hit lefties?
Or am I reading too much into this?
I’m not going to give you a rant on how unfair this is to Davis, because he has sucked big time against lefties this season, on that there is now doubt. But how will he ever learn to hit them without getting reps in especially now during another meaningless September?
Have they tossed their hands in the air and have given up on Ike as an everyday first baseman?
Or is this more about Lucas Duda?
After my initial post, I read some of the comments here and also gave the matter some more thought.
Only two weeks ago, Sandy Alderson sang the praises of Lucas Duda during an interview on WFAN. He called him a part of the plan and a valuable member of next season’s outfield. He mentioned that at the very least a platoon with Jason Bay was virtually a certainty in 2013.
Right after that interview, Collins began penciling Duda in left field when he was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. The rightfield experiment had come to an end.
At least for a few days it seemed like the Mets had a plan, until one day there was Lucas Duda playing first base. It Brings up the obvious question, why?
Some here seem to believe that this is a showcase for a potential trade in the future. That would signal that what Alderson said last month was just more hot air with no truth to it. That’s fine, I don’t really take anything he says seriously anyway and nor should you. But what exactly can Lucas Duda either on his own or as part of a package net the Mets in return?
Is six games at first base in September going to magically make Duda any more valuable than what he is today – which is not much?
And if this really is a showcase, then Terry Collins is just acting on orders from above, right?
Of course this whole notion of showcasing is just speculation for now. We speculate because that’s what we do when you see something odd without an obvious reason for it. We all do it.
Speculation aside, if Collins is playing Duda to get his reps against lefties why not let him stay in the outfield where he can grow more proficiently on both offense and defense?
Did you know that Duda is a better hitter against Bay against LHP?
Lucas Duda – .256/.305/.380/.686 in 131 PA
Jason Bay – .146/.253/..256/.509 in 98 PA
That’s over 150 more points of OPS for Duda.
What’s going on here?
Ike Davis is finally in a good groove. In this second half he has a .863 OPS and he is currently the team’s best slugger. When they should have shut him down against lefties in the first half they didn’t, and now during these meaningless games they reward his long anticipated return to form by benching him in favor of Duda against lefties while Bay continues to get playing time?
This is just weird. Just another reason why I’m losing faith quickly in this apparent lack of progress. It looks like we’re going to win far fewer games that last season’s 77. If you’re like me and judge your progress by wins, you have to be at least mildly concerned as we enter the third year of this regime.
It’s shaping up to be a very interesting offseason, and one that will make or break this front office that has been long on promises, but short on delivering on them.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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