New York Mets: Lucas Duda, The Odd Man Out?

By Craig Moir

The New York Mets have called up from AAA their number two prospect, Matt Harvey.  Set to pitch Thursday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Harvey will make his Major League debut and that means the Mets have to make a roster move.  Who will be the odd man out to be designated for assignment?  Most likely it will be slumping outfielder Lucas Duda.

With Jason Bay back in the lineup and healthy for now, the Mets find themselves in a dilemma.  Between Bay’s contract and Jordanny Valdespin’s play, the only reasonable solution would be to send Duda to Buffalo to work on his swing.  Lucas has shown some pop in his bat as he has 12 home runs on the year to go with 44RBIs.  The problem is that over the past seven games, he has only batted .143 and has been a liability defensively.

A trip to the Bisons might just be what Duda needs to iron out his issues at the plate and free up some opportunity for Valdespin to work some more magic on the big league level.  As the New York Mets find themselves falling deeper in the hole and under .500, it is safe now to assume that they will not make any moves come July 31st at the trade deadline. Now is the time for the organization to heavily evaluate their young stars and open up plenty of competition come spring training.

With Elvin Ramirez recalled from Buffalo after Miguel Batista was optioned to the minors, the Mets will get some extra bullpen help, and are also expecting closer Frank Francisco to be with the club within the next couple weeks.  This might also be the perfect opportunity for the Mets to showcase Valdespin if they do not believe he will be a long term answer.

The Mets must realize that pitching got them to where they were at the All-Star break and the lack of pitching is the reason they are sitting 8.5 games out of first and trailing by 5 in the wild card.  It makes sense to allow Duda the time he needs to regroup and give Harvey, Ramirez, Jenrry Mejia and possibly even Jeurys Familia a chance to prove they belong.

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