Well, that was fast.
Yesterday speculation ran rampant about the future of Lucas Duda‘s starting job at first base. Because Ike Davis was scheduled to be in the lineup at first base on Thursday night, certain beat reporters assumed Duda’s audition was over. And a certain writer for RantSports.com made the same assumption.
Not so, said manager Terry Collins! Before the game last night, he said Duda would still start three out of every four games. So Duda will continue to get a fair evaluation based on more than just 17 plate appearances since Friday, Apr. 7. (he got his 18th last night and singled as a pinch hitter).
The situation at first base does remain a bit confusing. Incidentally, I have a gift for understatement.
This weekend, New York Mets fans should get a respite from the confusion as the Mets head to Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game set. They’ll need a designated hitter all weekend, so both Duda and Davis should get in the lineup — one as a DH and one as a first baseman. The only rub is that the Mets will face two lefties, Tyler Skaggs and C.J. Wilson. That could mean right-handed hitting Josh Satin gets a turn at first bases.
Satin has had little playing time this year, making six appearances at the plate, walking once and striking out four times. Chances are Collins will get him in the lineup against one of the lefties, thereby keeping the first base carousel spinning.
Or maybe Collins can really think outside the box and put someone no one would expect at first. Let’s say, Juan Lagares! That way he can weaken center field at the same time! How about Ruben Tejada? He has about as much range as a first baseman right about now.
Okay, okay, I’m being silly. That’s what trying to keep up with the Mets’ first base situation is doing to my mental state.
It’s possible that the competition between Davis and Duda (and sometimes Satin) will bring out the best in the players. Last weekend was a prime example, as both Davis and Duda had a great series against the Cincinnati Reds. It’s also possible that irregular playing time hurts them — strong hitters with long swings often need to play every day to find consistency.
We’ll have to see how it plays out. In a perfect world, by the end of the month, the Mets will know who their starting first baseman is. As we know, however, the Mets’ world is not always perfect.