In a post to his blog for the Daily News, Andy Martino says Lucas Duda could be replaced as the team’s starting left fielder.
“The hour is getting late for Duda. All the obvious concerns that fans can see on television — confidence, consistency — are felt internally, too.,” Martino writes.
Jordany Valdespin’s strong spring makes him the leading candidate to replace Duda in left field, Martino said.
This spring, Duda is 7-for-30 with one home run, three RBI and a .281 OBP.
Matthew Cerrone, Lead WriterLast week, I mentioned that Lucas Duda is far from a sure thing to make the cut, according to team insiders. They were basically saying Sandy Alderson intends to go with the group of outfielders who give his team the best chance to win, regardless of contract, options, potential, status, etc. For instance, Matt den Dekker is getting high marks for his defense, and could have a role on the roster, despite continued concerns over his plate discipline; and Valdespin is working his way in, be it a starter, a fill-in or a bench player.
Michael Baron, ContributorI feel like this conversation about Duda’s confidence is always on-going, and something he is always trying to overcome. Terry Collins seems to mention it every time he talks about Duda, and Duda himself talks about it constantly as well…
As far as his production is concerned, Duda’s defense will always be a problem no matter where he plays in the field – his value will ultimately be determined by what he provides offensively. I don’t think there’s any question about what he’s capable of doing; it’s about his confidence, pitch recognition and execution, and putting the package together consistently. If he can use the entire field and get more balls in the air while using both gaps, the results should be better. But it’s going to be important he applies all of this quickly, as it sounds like the team has a short leash on Duda right now.