Collins Needs to Stop Babying Duda and Bat Him Cleanup

An article by posted on April 21, 2014 0 Comments

When Terry Collins made the decision to get Curtis Granderson out of the cleanup spot, I wasn’t really too surprised. It was something that clearly needed to be done. Hopefully, this will get Granderson’s bat going again and he can become the run producer this team thought they were getting when they signed him to that four-year, $60 million dollar deal over the Winter.

Despite an 0-for-6 showing at the plate on Sunday, his game-winning sacrifice fly was still a sight for sore eyes and maybe it was just the first of many more big moments for Granderson going forward. 

lucas duda USATSIBatting cleanup yesterday was second baseman Daniel Murphy, which seemed like a real head-scratcher to me.

I thought for sure that Lucas Duda would get the first opportunity to bat behind David Wright, especially given the fact that he leads the team in home runs, slugging percentage and OPS.

After the game, Terry Collins explained his decision to leave Duda in the sixth spot of the lineup.

“It’s huge, and that’s exactly why I’m not ready to move Lucas there right now. With what’s happened here in the past week, he’s got enough on his plate, and I didn’t want to stir the pot by throwing him in the four-hole right away.”

I thought David Lennon of Newsday hit the nail on the head in his column this morning:

The Mets can’t play the sensitive card with him any longer. They chose Duda over Ike Davis — who, by the way, batted cleanup Sunday for the Pirates — and that means trusting him to do the job.

And while we’re on the subject of numbers, Duda’s best offensive stats have come in the No. 4 spot. In 110 games there, Duda has a slash line of .276/.373/.453 with a home run every 25 plate appearances. So don’t tell us Duda can’t handle the pressure.

As long as Granderson is slumping, Collins is going to have to scrape up offense from somewhere. And in this thin lineup, Duda has to become the hitter the Mets say he can be — not look for shelter.

Sooner or later the Mets are going to have to stop babying Duda and start requiring some accountability from him.

How are these players ever going to reach their full potential if we’re going to keep playing nursemaid with them like this?

Duda is 28 years old and given the fact that the Mets are banking on him as their starting first baseman, it’s time for him to live up to that expectation and rise to the occasion. Collins shouldn’t be the one keeping that from happening. Get Duda in that cleanup spot and lets turn the guy loose.

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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.