Everybody is jumping on the Lucas Duda bandwagon. Not me, though. He is hitting better lately, but I am not convinced that he will ever be anything more than a mediocre player. It is why Eric Campbell must play more.
Duda is hitting .348 thus far this month, following a June in which he hit a very respectable .282 with five home runs. But still, do you really want the bat in his hands with the game on the line?
All Eric Campbell has done since his recall is hit. He is batting .337 in nearly 100 at bats. He only has one home run and nine RBIs, but he does have eight doubles. Aside from the numbers, it seems like Campbell is always in the middle of big Mets rallies.
Mets brass is surely not thrilled with Campbell only drawing seven walks thus far. But combined with his stellar hitting, Campbell’s on-base percentage is .380. That is higher than Duda’s .358, but that number is nearly 100 points higher than Duda’s batting average.
If the Mets insist in playing Duda (and by all accounts, they do), Eric Campbell should at least be part of a full-time platoon at first. Duda just cannot hit lefties. This season he is batting just .156 against them. The number is not much better for his career — .215. In contrast, Campbell is hitting .341 against lefties (to go along with .333 against righties). It obviously is a small sample, but it shows that Campbell should be playing against lefties and Duda should be sitting, for now, anyway.
Let’s not even talk about Duda’s defense, where he seems to make a boneheaded play on a semi-regular basis. Eric Campbell is certainly no worse out there.
The Mets will likely continue to play Duda every day, only sitting him against very tough lefties. It is all part of the love affair Sandy Alderson has with Duda, not to mention justifying trading Ike Davis and handing the job to Duda. I think the Mets lineup is better with Eric Campbell, but what do I know?