With so much focus on the poor hitting of Curtis Granderson (up until recently), Travis d’Arnaud (up until his concussion) and Chris Young and Ruben Tejada (continuing), the also continuing mediocrity of Lucas Duda has flown under the radar. But that does not mean it is not there.
Duda is hitting just .237. His average has dropped 30 points over the past 10 days as he has gone three for his last 26. His vaulted on-base percentage is just .315. Duda’s five home runs is second on the team, but he has only managed 19 RBIs.
Duda has not been wretched, but he has not been good, either. It is actually quite remarkable that a man so big can be so invisible.
The theory was that shifting Lucas Duda back to his natural first base would make him more comfortable at the plate. Well, that didn’t work. Then they said once Ike Davis was traded and Duda was truly the starting first baseman that he would start to hit. Well, that hasn’t happened either.
The Mets are going to have to face the fact that Lucas Duda is just not a good hitter. At least not in the bright lights of New York. A guy like Duda might have to play in a smaller town with a dimmer spotlight. If he can succeed somewhere else, good for him. But it is clear it will not happen with the Mets.
The Mets should have pursued one of the many first basemen available this past off-season. Instead they stuck with the triumvirate of Duda/Ike Davis/Josh Satin. Davis has been traded, Satin is in the minors and Duda is the same player he has always been. So huge failure there.
At this point the options are limited. The Mets should just hand the starting job to Eric Campbell, who has looked really good thus far. It may not last, but at least the Mets should see what they have in Campbell.
They know what they have in Lucas Duda, and it is not going to change.