Alarm bells went off at Mets camp after it was reported Lucas Duda received two cortisone shots in his hips and has been unable to play for three days. But Duda says don’t worry about it. Forgive us if we worry.
“I feel great. Just a spasm in my back, I guess,” Duda said Sunday morning according to the clickbait website that used to be the Daily News. “We’ll take a few days now, instead of taking two weeks down the road. Just being cautious. In a couple days, I should be ready to go.”
The cry of every injured Met.
Duda, of course, missed most of 2016 with a stress fracture in his back, and even he admits that issue is related to his current one.
“It’s definitely connected. I think it’s just a spasm, that kind of let the pressure out of the back. I don’t foresee it being an issue.”
So what happens in the likely event that Lucas Duda will miss a substantial amount of time? Well, the Mets have spoken about Neil Walker seeing some time at first, where he has never played before. Wilmer Flores spent some time there last season.
What about David Wright, who has shown that he can no longer make the toss across the diamond from third base?
“I think we’ve got to wait to see how he throws,” Terry Collins said. “But the answer to that is, yes, I think there’s a possibility that when he starts taking grounders, we flip him over and let him take some at first also.”
The logical answer is to put Jay Bruce there. He played three games there in 2014 (let’s forget about the two errors he committed during that time), but such a move would also help clear up the logjam in the outfield.
Either way, the Mets need a contingency plan at first. All of this could have been avoided had they simply non-tendered Duda and went with Bruce at first. He could have been working out there all winter, coming into Spring Training with at least some of the necessary skills. This would have also put the Mets payroll closer to the desired $140 million, giving them more leeway to acquire players as the season progresses.
Instead, the Mets are left with a possible albatross and a crowded outfield.