Lucas Duda has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back and has been placed on the disabled list. Someone named Ty Kelly was called up from Las Vegas to take his place, but don’t get too used to him.
Duda will be out a minimum of six weeks, but it could be longer.
“There’s no real timetable,” Collins said. “It’ll be a while. I guess there are some exercises he can do, but nothing baseball related for a while. We’re looking at a fairly long period before he’s going to be able to get back and do some baseball stuff.”
If a stress fracture of the back sounds familiar to Mets fans, it’s because David Wright suffered from one of those five years ago. If you remember, he tried to play through the pain for a month, before admitting to himself and the Mets what was going on. He ended up missing two months.
“You have to be conservative with it. You have to take your time with it,” Wright said. “You have to make sure that you’re meticulous with your rehab. It’s something where you’re talking about a bone being damaged. There’s going to be a time, if it was anything like mine, where you can’t do anything.”
Wright blames his stress fracture in part for the spinal stenosis with which he is currently dealing. Hopefully the same thing won’t happen to Duda.
As far as this Ty Kelly character, he is a career minor leaguer who has virtually no experience at first base. He has played all of four games there in eight seasons — three this year and one in 2011. He is primarily a second and third baseman, and plays some outfield. His bat does not appear to be anything special. He will likely be sent back down when Wilmer Flores comes off the DL on Friday.
But Flores is also untested at first, and Eric Campbell is clearly not a starter, so the Mets are turning to Michael Conforto for help. He has never played first in his life, but the Mets asked him to start taking grounder there. Just like college, Conforto recounted.
“They always had me taking ground balls,” Conforto said. “They always had me make sure I was available in case there was an emergency situation, or if something wasn’t working out with one of our infielders. I was always taking ground balls at third, shortstop, first base. So I’ve been in there. I’ve practiced there. Just not a whole lot of game experience. … I’ll give it my best, I’ll do what I can to prepare myself for that, if that becomes an option.”
Another option is Wright. Terry Collins says he approached Wright Sunday to see if he had any interest. The ultimate teammate, Wright said, sure, no problem.
“I said that my entire career: Whatever this organization, whatever the team needs me to do, I’ll be on board as long as I can do it and can help,” Wright said. “With that being said, besides the handful of times that we played the shift, that’s about as many ground balls as I’ve ever taken on that side of the infield.
“There was no follow-up,” Wright said of his conversation with the mange. “I just made him aware that whatever the team needs me to do that I’d be more than happy to do. I’m sure it would be a little weird. And I’m assuming there was no follow-up because I’m not sure if it’s truly being considered.”
Indeed, ESPN New York reports there are no plans to shift Wright across the diamond.
Still, the Mets might have to do something if Flores cannot handle the job. Maybe lure Adam LaRoche out of retirement and let his kid run roughshod over the clubhouse?!