The Mets brass has made it clear that they don’t intend on cutting Jason Bay, but who knows if that will be the case or not. Sandy made a statement when he first arrived, and cut Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez in his first Spring Training at the helm. Next season will be no different, as he will enter the Spring with a drastically underachieving, grossly overpaid player in Bay. Although this time I don’t see him making the same statement. I think we will have to endure a lefty/righty platoon between Jason Bay and Lucas Duda for the ENTIRE 2013 season. However, by the end of this post you may not be so down about this platoon and what they can bring to the 2013 Mets.
The only way this platoon can work is if both of these players can combine for 20-25 home runs. There is some potential for that to happen, but it is just that, potential. We keep throwing that word around a lot lately. I guess we are all just hoping for some of these millionaires to play at the level of the money they earn.
I see Bay and Duda splitting time next season because it has “potential” to be a productive combination. Jason will see less playing time than Lucas for one simple reason. There are less left handed starters than right handed starters. I’m sure that is music to Mets fans ears.
Let’s just look at this realistically. I don’t want any GM speak, or want to hear any spin on the situation. The fact is that we don’t have the money so spend to fill out an entire outfield, We can’t eat Bay’s contract and go out and sign someone better. Lucas struggles against lefties, and Bay against righties. So the solution is to bat them both to their strengths, keeping Bays butt on the pine against righties, and Duda watching versus lefties.
So what are some realistic numbers for these two?
Bay hit eight home runs in 2012, four against righties and four versus left handers. However, he drove in 15 runs against lefties as a pose to just 5 versus right handed pitchers. Jason’s batting average was hideous in 2012 altogether, but his career .275/386/502/888 slash line against lefties is not bad.
Duda hit 15 homers this past season. His average was the same against both lefties (.239) and righties (.240). However, very similar to Bay, his production was much greater on his opposite side. He had 46 RBI against right handers with 11 home runs, while he has just 4 home runs and 11 RBI versus lefties.
Combining their numbers for the 2012 season, the Mets received 23 home runs and 77 RBI. A platoon like this does not sound very exciting, but would you take a starting outfielder who hit 23 home runs and drove in 77 for next season? I know I would.
I think it is safe to say we can expect anywhere from 20-30 home runs, and 75-85 RBI combined from a platoon between these two players. That’s not to shabby for two guys who got benched, demoted, and publicly shredded in 2012.