Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Read Zone: Why The Mets’ Lucas Duda’s Time As Every Day Starter Should Be Running Out

So what do the Mets have in Duda, both today and in the future?  Why has Duda been given carte blanche to play every day when other players are a single bad performance away from being glued to the bench by Collins?

Ooh, I know—a free nightly nine-inning rendition of “Rosie O’Donnell on Ice” in left field.

thetailor Posted: May 29, 2013 at 07:41 PM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: lucas duda, mets

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: May 29, 2013 at 09:40 PM (#4455239)
Because he's their best slash line hitter outside of David Wright?
   2. bobm Posted: May 29, 2013 at 09:50 PM (#4455256)
As noted above, what is the point of this article?

                                                                                 
Rk              Player    OPS+ Year Age  Tm Lg  G  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS     Pos
1         David Wright     151 2013  30 NYM NL 49 206 .295 .393 .500 .893      *5
2           Lucas Duda     132 2013  27 NYM NL 48 186 .242 .355 .471 .826    *7/D
3        Daniel Murphy     124 2013  28 NYM NL 49 204 .304 .338 .461 .799      *4
4          Rick Ankiel     122 2013  33 NYM NL 14  48 .244 .292 .511 .803    *8/9
5            John Buck     103 2013  32 NYM NL 44 177 .219 .282 .450 .732      *2
6         Andrew Brown      94 2013  28 NYM NL  6  18 .200 .294 .400 .694    /*97
7          Marlon Byrd      93 2013  35 NYM NL 37 133 .238 .280 .410 .690    *9/8
8          Mike Baxter      89 2013  28 NYM NL 40  92 .234 .348 .312 .660     *97
9        Justin Turner      87 2013  28 NYM NL 31  78 .292 .325 .333 .658 3/456D7
10   Jordany Valdespin      85 2013  25 NYM NL 44  93 .214 .290 .369 .659   8/794
11        Shaun Marcum      78 2013  31 NYM NL  7  12 .273 .273 .364 .636     /*1
12      Anthony Recker      70 2013  29 NYM NL  9  26 .143 .269 .333 .603    /*2D
13      Jonathon Niese      56 2013  26 NYM NL 11  19 .250 .294 .250 .544      *1
14        Ruben Tejada      52 2013  23 NYM NL 49 199 .209 .269 .264 .533      *6
15           Ike Davis      36 2013  26 NYM NL 47 177 .152 .237 .241 .478      *3
16        Juan Lagares      34 2013  24 NYM NL 23  46 .163 .200 .279 .479      *8
17      Collin Cowgill      29 2013  27 NYM NL 19  52 .157 .173 .294 .467    *8/7
18    Kirk Nieuwenhuis       3 2013  25 NYM NL 13  17 .125 .176 .188 .364     /*8
19         Matt Harvey     -11 2013  24 NYM NL 11  24 .136 .136 .182 .318      *1
20          Dillon Gee     -27 2013  27 NYM NL 10  18 .067 .176 .067 .243      *1
21       Jeremy Hefner    -100 2013  27 NYM NL 10  15 .000 .000 .000 .000      *1
22        Aaron Laffey    -100 2013  28 NYM NL  4   3 .000 .000 .000 .000     /*1
23               Collin McHugh 2013  26 NYM NL  2                       0     /*1
24                  Greg Burke 2013  30 NYM NL 14                       0      *1
25               Robert Carson 2013  24 NYM NL  9        1          1.000     /*1
Rk              Player    OPS+ Year Age  Tm Lg  G  PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS     Pos
26                  Scott Rice 2013  31 NYM NL 29                       0      *1
27                  Josh Edgin 2013  26 NYM NL 11                       0      *1
28               Bobby Parnell 2013  28 NYM NL 23                       0      *1
29                Brandon Lyon 2013  33 NYM NL 23                       0      *1
30              Jeurys Familia 2013  23 NYM NL  8                       0     /*1
31              Scott Atchison 2013  37 NYM NL 19                       0      *1
32              LaTroy Hawkins 2013  40 NYM NL 22                       0      *1

   3. Bug Selig Posted: May 29, 2013 at 09:54 PM (#4455264)
Oh My Sweet Agnes' Bloomers! The Mets fixed Rick Ankiel!

Surprised to see Ike Davis' numbers - hadn't heard about that <<ducks>>.
   4. catomi01 Posted: May 29, 2013 at 09:55 PM (#4455265)
wait...they have 2 pitchers and a former pitcher outhitting their lead-off hitter and their first baseman?
   5. bobm Posted: May 29, 2013 at 10:00 PM (#4455276)
On the other hand, this is not so good...

                                                                                                         
Rk              Player Split Year  G   BA BAtot PA PAtot AB HR RBI   BA  OBP  SLG   OPS BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
1         David Wright  RISP 2013 35 .378  .295 54   206 45  0  20 .378 .463 .489  .952  .447   116   158
2       Collin Cowgill  RISP 2013  7 .375  .157  8    52  8  1   7 .375 .375 .750 1.125  .286   372   198
3            John Buck  RISP 2013 25 .333  .219 42   177 36  4  23 .333 .381 .722 1.103  .296   196   192
4        Daniel Murphy  RISP 2013 30 .316  .304 42   204 38  1  19 .316 .333 .500  .833  .333   107   123
5          Marlon Byrd  RISP 2013 25 .303  .238 38   133 33  2  18 .303 .324 .485  .809  .381   134   116
6          Mike Baxter  RISP 2013 16 .300  .234 17    92 10  0   4 .300 .529 .300  .829  .333   148   130
7         Ruben Tejada  RISP 2013 32 .289  .209 41   199 38  0   9 .289 .325 .289  .614  .324   130    68
8        Justin Turner  RISP 2013 13 .231  .292 15    78 13  0   5 .231 .267 .231  .497  .300    52    36
9    Jordany Valdespin  RISP 2013 18 .211  .214 22    93 19  2  10 .211 .318 .579  .897  .167   167   138
10         Rick Ankiel  RISP 2013  5 .167  .215  6   113  6  0   1 .167 .167 .333  .500  .250    32    32
11          Lucas Duda  RISP 2013 29 .147  .242 46   186 34  0   7 .147 .348 .147  .495  .192    29    39
12           Ike Davis  RISP 2013 31 .114  .152 50   177 44  2   8 .114 .200 .250  .450  .115    88    21
   6. AJMcCringleberry Posted: May 29, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4455279)
The sad part is that the Mets don't have guys who are good bets to be better than Davis or Tejada, let alone Duda.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: May 29, 2013 at 11:00 PM (#4455333)
Of course they're going to keep playing Duda. Yes he's such a bad defender that he's barely above replacement but, on the Mets, that makes him a star. Less insultingly, the guy who will be hitting the bench is Davis -- he's just got to be sent down very soon. That opens 1B for Duda. You hope Duda keeps smacking then maybe some AL team comes calling at the deadline (the O's need a DH). You won't get much but hopefully by then Davis has straightened himself out a bit.
   8. Howie Menckel Posted: May 29, 2013 at 11:15 PM (#4455348)

Yes, Duda would not be a bad AL player at all, imo.
He's a DH, but he can fake it at 1B and corner OF here and there - just don't overdo it.
And he's gained plate patience to go with decent power.

He could thrive in an AL bandbox with a good manager.

   9. thetailor Posted: May 29, 2013 at 11:44 PM (#4455368)
The OPS chart above doesnt tell the story. His OPS is empty - walks before pitchers knew to challenge him, and 90% solo home runs.

And yes, the smart move is probably Duda at first, Ike in the minors to fix himself, and playing time for Valdespin/Brown/Cowgill until they prove they can't handle it. And trade Duda.
   10. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:31 AM (#4455388)
What y'all said, pretty much.

Wasn't the hope that the wrist injury that held Duda back might fully heal, and he might turn into a monster at the plate while being no worse than -8 or so in the field?

He is what he is, and the Mets should finagle with positions to put Duda in the best light, so as to get a small chip for him that might turn into something in five years. It's disturbing that the places we keep saying are easiest for a canny GM with no money to fill, the OF corners, 1B, the pen, and the back of the rotation, are the positions that Alderson can't seem to find tolerable, warm bodies to occupy. Maybe the ultimate, the saddest problem with Moneyball, once all teams adopt the approach, is that there's no longer a way for poor teams to get creative and deke the rich teams.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4455399)
Rumors that Tejada could get sent down - who would they put at SS? Valdespin? Turner? Bring up Quintanilla?
   12. PreservedFish Posted: May 30, 2013 at 01:07 AM (#4455404)
Also, it's frustrating that Valdespin isn't getting a better shot at starting. He's not a great prospect or anything, but he's younger, he's a good athlete, he's hitting OK. He might be something, right? He looks like a superior bench player ... lefty bat that can play the infield and pop homeruns off the bench.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: May 30, 2013 at 01:19 AM (#4455407)
Yes but Valdespin is kinda flashy and cocky right ... and that sort of thing just doesn't play in a button-down burg like New York.
   14. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: May 30, 2013 at 01:48 AM (#4455420)
That and the sad fact that he never has and never will get on base enough to play in the majors...
   15. thetailor Posted: May 30, 2013 at 01:49 AM (#4455422)
Mets hitters by WAR, so far this year:

Wright 2.2
Murphy 1.7
Buck 1.0
Byrd .6
Ankiel .3
Brown .2
Duda .2
Niese .2
Marcum .1

Duda is tied with a pitcher and a player with 18 plate appearances. And he's had chances to prove he's not awful. I'd much rather see what else we have.

#11, 12: I agree. And GKR were speculating tonight that it would be Quintanilla who would get the call.
   16. PreservedFish Posted: May 30, 2013 at 02:19 AM (#4455433)
Disagree with #14. He has a 90 OPS+, he's already hitting enough to play. And he may yet improve his OBP - he is patient in certain situations. But he needs to be able to play middle infield if he wants a guaranteed career. We haven't seen much of him there yet. I could see him being a type of Desi Relaford or he could bulk up and start hacking Tony Batista style. I like him a lot.
   17. Bug Selig Posted: May 30, 2013 at 06:40 AM (#4455457)
Duda is tied with a pitcher and a player with 18 plate appearances. And he's had chances to prove he's not awful. I'd much rather see what else we have.


And if we had evidence that he'd be as bad at 1B as he is in the outfield, there might be some basis upon which to write him off. I think you're blaming him for the existence of Ike Davis. Putting your 2nd-best hitter at a position he can't play so you can keep running a sub-.500 OPS out there at 1B every day is neither defensible nor the player's fault.
   18. TomH Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:09 AM (#4455477)
And yet, they have now taken three straight from the used-to-be first place Yankees; going for the sweep against some rookie call-up fatboy (trying for positive spin...)
   19. Lassus Posted: May 30, 2013 at 08:24 AM (#4455485)
There's no real chance in hell we can KEEP winning, but four straight from the Yankees would be a cheap, satisfying run nevertheless.
   20. Howie Menckel Posted: May 30, 2013 at 09:26 AM (#4455534)

Valdespin is craptastic at SS. I can't imagine even the confused Mets tossing him out there as a starter. His only shot is Davis down and Murphy moving over to first....

   21. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4455559)
His OPS is empty - walks before pitchers knew to challenge him, and 90% solo home runs.

Wait, you're blaming a hitter for his teammates not getting on base?
   22. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: May 30, 2013 at 10:06 AM (#4455578)
Do we know that Duda's a horrible first baseman? His numbers suggest averagishness n very limited time.

Should the Mets consider calling up Allan Dykstra to play first base? He is already 26 and has a .307/.447/.549 in AA. Might as well as give him a shot for a little while and let Ike figure things out in the minors.

Francisco Pena has been killing it in AAA. .367/.387/.800 in 32 plate appearances and he now has a .283/.339/.475 line overall.
   23. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: May 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM (#4455585)

Wait, you're blaming a hitter for his teammates not getting on base?


He bats behind Murphy and Wright (and sometimes Ike...)
He's had a decent # of baserunners, he's been absolutely awful with RISP though (but last year he was better with RISP than with bases empty, so this is more likely small sample size variation than Duda not being able to hit with runners on)

Do we know that Duda's a horrible first baseman? His numbers suggest averagishness n very limited time.

we know he's a horrible OF...
He played some 200+ games in the minors at 1b, perhaps someone who saw him play there can shed some light on the topic
   24. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: May 30, 2013 at 10:18 AM (#4455594)
I didn't realize before now that Ike Davis has been THAT bad. Just where is the limit on how long a guy can suck that hard before he gets, at the very least, taken out of the lineup? You have to think the Mets could dramatically improve their lineup just by sending Davis down, moving Duda to first, and grabbing some AAAA guy off waivers to play the outfield. I mean, you can probably get a AAAA glove man for free, who isn't in the majors because he can't hit, and he would still outhit Ike Davis.
   25. Conor Posted: May 30, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4455608)
Duda seems like an incredibly awkward guy, I can't imagine he would be any good at 1B, but he would definitely be better there than in the OF.

Duda has no future as an OF. His wRC+ is 17th among all OF in the major leagues, and he has .1 fWAR because they have him worth -7.6 runs in the field already. Which some might think is hard to believe, but for his career he has played 1775 innings in the OF and has a UZR/150 of -34.3. He's slightly better in LF, with his UZR/150 of only -23.6, but either way, I think it's pretty safe to say his glove negates most of his value at the plate.

I didn't really have a problem with the Mets playing him in the OF this year, because they weren't going anywhere, and they needed to get some kind of a resolution on him. He hit really well in 2011 (136 wRC+), and then not nearly as well last year (101 wRC+). In a perfect world, Ike would be their long term 1B, which would give Duda nowhere to play, but he could have value to a team that either needed a 1B or DH. So I didn't think sticking him in the OF this year and giving him the shot to hit closer to his 2011 numbers than his 2012 numbers was a bad idea. And so far, he's done that.

He has a career 116 wRC+; last year that would have put him tied for 12th among 1B, with Mark Teixeira, just ahead of Freddie Freeman, Adrian Gonzalez, and Adam Dunn. In 2011, 116 wRC+ would have been about 16th. So unless he's going to improve from here, he's not going to be a huge asset at 1B, but he will be better at 1B than he is in the OF, and with the way Ike has looked, he might be th e first basemen on opening day next year. If he can hit in the 120-130 range (129 this year) then he could be decent as a 1B/DH for some team.
   26. thetailor Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4455674)
Wait, you're blaming a hitter for his teammates not getting on base?

As Johnny-#23 points out, he's had opportunities. B-R has him below-average with regard to expected RBI given his # of base-runners on.

Conor-#25 is spot on. With Ike stuggling as epically as he has, it makes the Duda solution easy. If Ike was hitting and there was nowhere to stash Duda, it would be easier to justify running Duda out to LF where he clearly can't play. But as it stands, the Mets should move him.

And for me, it appears that I have more hope than most in Cowgill/Valdespin/Brown. I wrote this in the preseason about Cowgill (http://thereadzone.com/2013/03/11/new-york-mets-reason-for-optimism-thy-name-is-cowgill/) ... it hasn't panned out yet, but I still believe that with average-to-slightly-above defense and an average bat, Cowgill could turn in a positive contribution. Brown too. And Valdespin, well, nobody really knows what he is capable of.
   27. thetailor Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:09 AM (#4455678)
This was the Mets preseason fangraphs outfield projections:

Lucas Duda – .248/.333/.418 (-11 defense) = 0.6 WAR
Kirk Nieuwenhuis – .236/.302/.385 (+1 defense) = 0.5 WAR
Collin Cowgill – .247/.309/.363 (0 defense) = 1.2 WAR
Marlon Byrd – .256/.304/.372 (0 defense) = 0.7 WAR
Mike Baxter – .248/.331/.384 (-2 defense) = 0.5 WAR

If I were the Mets, I'd move Duda to first, and go with an outfield alignment of LF Valdespin, CF Cowgill, RF Byrd until they prove they can't handle it. At least take a shot, you know?
   28. Conor Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM (#4455726)
I'm still not really buying Byrd much (41 K's and 7 BB this year) but considering the players they have, they should at least platoon him with Baxter in RF.
   29. HowardMegdal Posted: May 30, 2013 at 11:53 AM (#4455752)
The worry for me with Duda isn't the small sample clutch hitting stats, honestly. It's that after April's walk rate spiked, he's back to where he's historically been. And neither his defense nor his numbers vs. LHP suggest a guy to me that's more than a platoon 1B. Should be a perfectly reasonable one of those, though.
   30. Walt Davis Posted: May 30, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4456121)
Mets hitters by WAR, so far this year:

Wright 2.2
Murphy 1.7
Buck 1.0
Byrd .6
Ankiel .3
Brown .2
Duda .2
Niese .2
Marcum .1


Hmmm ... Seems to be a name missing from this list. Who could it be?
   31. bobm Posted: May 30, 2013 at 07:41 PM (#4456243)
30. Walt Davis [...]

Hmmm ... Seems to be a name missing from this list. Who could it be?


No relation, I presume. :-)
   32. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: June 01, 2013 at 03:22 AM (#4457624)
Disagree with #14. He has a 90 OPS+, he's already hitting enough to play. And he may yet improve his OBP


And Jesus could show up for a stroll on your swimming pool in high summer. Are we talking about the same guy, the guy whose MLEs at the upper levels never threatened .300, and who has an OPB light OPS in the majors--exactly what you'd expect?

Valdespin's not a starter, except on a crappy team. He's nothing special as a fielder (dWAR has him as far worse than that, but let's give him the benefit of a SSS). He's not even a particularly good backup. I really wouldn't want him as my fifth OFer, frankly. We're only talking about him at all is because these are the Mets, and they suck this year.
   33. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: June 01, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4457649)
Hm, Marlon Byrd is competent this season. He looked toastier than toast on the Red Sox last year.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogHBT: Talking head says Jeter is “a fraud” and “you are all suckers”
(113 - 10:15am, Sep 22)
Last: The Id of SugarBear Blanks

NewsblogPhilly Sports: Chico Ruiz’s dash for home began the 1964 Phillies’ unraveling
(2 - 10:13am, Sep 22)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogStephen Strasburg pitching like the Nationals’ Game 1 starter
(1 - 10:11am, Sep 22)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogRoyals encounter problem with online sale of playoff tickets
(35 - 10:09am, Sep 22)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(358 - 10:09am, Sep 22)
Last: Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14!

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-22-2014
(1 - 10:07am, Sep 22)
Last: Corn On Ty Cobb

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(3435 - 10:03am, Sep 22)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-22-2014
(10 - 10:00am, Sep 22)
Last: bobm

NewsblogOT: NFL/NHL thread
(8040 - 9:32am, Sep 22)
Last: Joey B. "disrespects the A"

NewsblogJohn Thorn: Fame & Fandom
(21 - 8:20am, Sep 22)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogOT August 2014:  Wrassle Mania I
(206 - 8:08am, Sep 22)
Last: Rowland Office Supplies

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-21-2014
(103 - 6:35am, Sep 22)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(297 - 6:25am, Sep 22)
Last: Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch)

NewsblogCameron: The Stealth MVP Candidacy of Hunter Pence
(48 - 1:07am, Sep 22)
Last: shoewizard

NewsblogA’s lose Triple-A Sacramento affiliate
(92 - 12:40am, Sep 22)
Last: Toothless

Page rendered in 0.5047 seconds
52 querie(s) executed