Duda’s Rehab Moves To St. Lucie, But Questions Remain About His Future

An article by posted on July 29, 2013

Lucas Duda

Attempting to comeback from an intercostal strain, Lucas Duda played another nine innings for the GCL Mets yesterday as he continues to work his way back to the big league team. Duda went 0-for-4, making him hitless in 16 plate appearances with one walk.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the Mets left fielder is on the move:

Because Duda is on a major league rehab, the Mets will have to activate him within 20 days after beginning his rehab which puts his return at around August 12th. At that point the Mets must activate him and then either choose to demote someone from the 25 man roster to make room for him, or option Duda to the minors as the team did with Ruben Tejada.

Duda was batting .235 with a .353 on-base before he landed on the DL, and had 13 doubles, 11 home runs and 23 RBI in 226 at-bats this season with a .791 OPS.

There’s no disputing the fact that the Mets began playing better once Eric Young Jr. replaced him in left field. That begs the question of what to do with Lucas Duda? Is he still a part of the Mets future? What is to become of him and now at age 27 are we still going to wait out this presumed upside?

I posed this question to our crack staff and here is what some of them had to say:

Andre – At some point, the time to assess what you have is over and decisions have to be made. Lucas Duda has the talent to be a pretty good hitter at the major league level. However, at age 27 and thus in what you´d expect to be his prime seasons, he hasn´t been able to fully reach it. To make matters worse, he´s basically unplayable in LF defensively while being a below average defender at 1B. And since his offense probably won´t be good enough to compensate for these deficiencies, he´s pretty much a Quad-A player in my opinion and not a longterm fit for the Mets. The team has played mostly well in his absence. Sure, a lefty bat with power would be quite useful in this lineup. However, Duda has never struck opposing pitchers with fear due to a sometimes too passive approach and exploitable holes in his swing. He also doesn´t seem to thrive in clutch situations to put it mildly. So all in all, it´s time to cut bait and move on. Send him to Las Vegas to DH or find a trade partner who is willing to take a chance on him.

Jacob - Lucas Duda is a AAAA player. He has the body and the skills to crush AAA pitching, but can struggle mightily at the  Major League level. He is obviously not what the Mets had envisioned in left field originally but he ended up there with roadblocks at first base. I believe he suffers the same fate as Ruben Tejada. Due to the above average performance of Eric Young Jr., Duda  will have to earn his spot back, as Tejada must do with Omar Quintanilla in the way. But lets say Duda gets recalled to Queens. Who goes down?

Kirk – I don’t think the Mets will be in any rush to bring Duda back. I think they like their outfield configuration as it is and wouldn’t want to mess with it. They’re going to give Ike every chance to bust out, so Lucas doesn’t fit at first as a second LH first basemen. Most likely he’ll head to Vegas and try to hit his way back to Queens. Long term, I was never sold on Duda. He’s awful defensively no matter where you put him, and his offense hasn’t made up for it. Maybe he could be the left-handed side of a first base platoon, but if you’re platooning at first base you don’t have a very good team. I’m hoping that isn’t the case for the Mets going forward.

XtreemIcon – I’d send Andrew Brown down for Duda and play him on the bench as a pinch hitter. There’s no way Young or Byrd should come out of the lineup and CF should be manned every day by Lagares. That leaves Duda as the 4th or 5th outfielder and bat off the bench. I’m ok with that. That’s the role Duda is best suited for and I think he’s more of a help to the Mets on another team right now.

David – Where does he fit in now? Honestly I feel more comfortable with his bat in the lineup than Ike’s. I have no idea why Ike is given such a pass when his swing has looked horrible all season. Even having come back, he hasn’t done anything. I think Duda would be a better fit to come off the bench and platoon with Satin at 1B. I really don’t see anyone else on this roster that should be sent down other than Ike. Maybe Andrew Brown, but I prefer his bat over Ike’s any day. I really think Ike is the odd man out. My opinion is, if Ike will remain, that Duda is dangled in trades. But I would rather keep Duda and dangle Ike.

Tommy – Duda fits in the outfield, not at first base. It is too early to give up on Ike, especially after he showed his resilience in the 2nd half last year. If the Mets make the right move and trade Marlon Byrd, they can give Duda his spot in right. I am quite high on Lucas. the Mets are starved for power in the outfield and Duda fills that need. As for who gets sent down, can’t we always call up Greg Burke and send him back down, for old time’s sake?

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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 and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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