Friday, September 13, 2013

Stop The Presses!

So, a day after I took several not-so-subtle shots at Lucas Duda and how I feel he's really not cut out for the direction of the team, he of course goes out and hits a 3-run Home Run to win tonight's game against the Marlins.

It's nice that Duda went and did this. It's not the first time he's hit a 3-run Home Run, although given his general in-aptitude for situational hitting, it certainly feels like it's the first time he's done something like that. But it actually annoys me that he did this. Bear with me here, but this will make sense. See, I've made mention somewhere in the 6+ years worth of archives here about how Oliver Perez was the worst kind of loser, because he was a loser with talent. Oliver Perez would throw a great game every so often, 7+ innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 8 strikeouts and we'd be drooling because we were fooled into thinking he might actually be putting it together. But then the next time out he'd walk 7 guys in 3 innings and we'd be smacking our heads. I'm convinced that Lucas Duda is the same kind of player. A loser with talent. Duda came up with the reputation as a patient power hitter, and while he's shown flashes of power and flashes of patience, it's amounted to very little extended production or success. And what kills me is how much attention he gets when he starts doing things right. I mean, yes, we all WANT Duda to do well, he's a Met, he came up through the system and whatever, but at some point we sort of have to figure that he might not get much better than he already is. He's basically a big, meaty mountain with 30 Home Run potential and no general idea when it's time to swing for the fences or just make contact and try to get a hit. With men in scoring position, Duda is hitting .169 for the season and last night's Home Run was his first of the year in such a situation. It's all or nothing and it seems like it's been like this with him for as long as he's been here. For a guy who was supposed to have middle-of-the-lineup pop, hitting .230 with 13 Home Runs to produce 30 RBI is not going to cut it. And that's to say nothing of his defensive prowess, because he has none, so there's nothing to say about it.

The thing is, Duda is just this big oafy kid and so many Mets fans seem to like him, particularly after he finished strong last year, that just about every positive thing he does is met with an overabundance of joy. He walked a lot to start the season and everyone was crowing about how he was near the top of the league in OBA for April, overlooking the fact that a guy who's supposed to be hitting for power and driving in runs can't do that if he's walking all the time. Then, he stopped walking and the air came out of his numbers. Then, he got hurt. So, there's another thing for the Duda lovers to hang their hats on. But then he came back and, since the team mercifully decided he wasn't an Outfielder anymore, decided to bury him on the bench behind Ike Davis. Fortuitously for him, Davis got hurt, giving him one more chance to try to show us what he's got. And to this point, I've seen nothing worthwhile out of him, outside of a bunch of singles with nobody on base. Until last night, when he hit this 3-run Home Run. And I'm quite certain we're going to be hearing about this 3-run Home Run for weeks, because everyone loves harping on the few times this guy has done something right. I woudn't be surprised if it's December and I hear, "HEY, REMEMBER THAT TIME DUDA HIT THAT HOME RUN!?"

I don't mean to pick on Duda so much, but the point is, I've seen enough. I've seen him and I've seen Ike Davis, and Ike is better, even if he's had lousy seasons. Duda hasn't been especially great either. But, the organization seems to like Duda and dislike Davis and they just keep spoonfeeding Duda to us in spite of the fact that he's mostly been a disaster. I realize I'm no "expert," but what I've seen of Duda is enough to make me think that he's got a nice future as a platoon DH for a team in the AL West. That's of course assuming the Mets either a) Can trade him or b) Don't decide that he's somehow the future here.

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