Lucas Duda is batting .333 since being named primary 1B

Lucas Duda is batting .306 with a .359 OBP, a team-leading three home runs and six RBI in 39 plate appearances this season.

He tied a career high with four hits in Monday’s win against the D-Backs, during which he also had two RBI.

Duda has started five of nine games since being named the team’s primary first baseman, during which he is batting .333 (9-for-27).

“He’s swinging good,” Terry Collins said Monday night. “You let him just get in that batter’s box and go get ‘em. He’s making a nice run at it right now.”

Collins put Duda in left field during Monday’s game after Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson were forced to leave the game due to injury.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I really, really hope Terry doesn’t try to solve his outfield shortage by putting Duda back in left field. I guess it’s OK for a game or two, to buy time until Granderson is feeling better and Chris Young is activated from the disabled list. But, honestly, he’s been playing so well of late, I’m not even sure it’s worth risking a disruption in whatever groove he has going on right now…

Maggie Wiggin, Contributor

I’ve long been a defender of Duda and I’m not surprised he’s hitting so well to start the season. That said, putting him back in left field would be a big mistake.

For one thing, he’s not just bad defensively in the outfield — he’s unbelievably bad. He has cost the team a whopping 42 runs in the outfield over his career and even in his strong offensive seasons, his outfield play negates his value almost entirely. At first base, he’s a tick above average and his production overall is solid. In the outfield, he becomes replacement level.

There’s also the question of Duda’s defensive discomfort having an impact at the plate. For his career, he’s hit .274 with an .824 OPS as a first baseman. At left field, his average drops to .228 and his OPS to .743. There’s no question that he’s in a groove right now, which the team desperately needs to continue with the loss of their most effective player in Lagares. Moving Duda to left field to fill a hole would be short-sighted and hurt the team more than it would help.


Zack Wheeler wanted to stay in, but OK with leaving game

Zack Wheeler held the D-backs to two runs in 6 1/3 innings Monday night, earning his first win since last August.

Wheeler said he wanted to stay in and finish the seventh inning, but he understood the decision to take him out of the game.

He threw 97 pitches, let up six hits and walked three batters.

“This game is about feeling good about yourself every once in a while, and he should feel good about himself tonight,” Terry Collins said after the game. “He pitched a nice ballgame. I wasn’t going to let him get himself buried to where you start feeling bad.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

For whatever reason, Wheeler used a different delivery. He was lifting his hands over his hand during his windup, which he said he used to do when he was younger. Hey, if we was comfortable, so be it. The important thing in this start, for me, was seeing him fight. He let up a quick run in the first inning. He let up another run in the third. Yet, he was able to keep rolling and contain the D-Backs as his teammates took a lead they’d never let go.

Jenrry Mejia 1

What’s on Tap: Mejia takes on Diamondbacks at 9:40 p.m.

The Mets defeated the Diamondbacks, 7-3, on Monday night, but lost both Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares to injury >> Read more from MLB.comESPN New YorkNewsdayNew York Post and Daily News.

The Mets play the second game of their three-game series against Arizona on Tuesday at 9:40 p.m. ET.

Jenrry Mejia gets the start for the Mets, opposed by Bronson Arroyo for Arizona.

The game will air on SNY and can be heard on WOR 710 AM radio.

Screen shot 2014-04-15 at 5.40.09 AM

Game Recap: Mets 7 – Diamondbacks 3

Behind Zack Wheeler‘s first win of the season and a four-hit performance by Lucas Duda, the Mets defeated the Diamondbacks by a score of 7-3 Monday night in Arizona. >> Read the full recap and box score on

Need to Know: Wheeler gave up two earned runs on six his with three strikeouts and three walks over 6 1/3 innings on the mound.

Duda went 4-5 with two RBIs and one run. With the four hits, Duda’s batting average improved from .226 to .306.

Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares both suffered injuries and were taken out of Monday night’s game.

The Mets seven runs matched the team’s season-high for runs scored in a game. New York had seven runs during its 13-inning win over the Angels on Saturday.

Carlos Torres earned his first save after he gave up one earned run over 2 2/3 innings on the mound.

Reaction from Meredith Perri: You know that saying about how you can’t predict baseball? The Mets came into Monday night’s game with a pitcher that hadn’t won a game since Aug. 31 2013, a lineup that was still struggling and a potential overflow of outfielders. By game’s end, Wheeler had his first win of the season, the middle of the order had produced and two of the Mets outfielders had left the game with potential injuries.

Thankfully, the Granderson X-rays came back negative and while the outcome of Lagares’ hamstring injury is still unknown, the fact that the Mets bounced back Monday after a beating at the hands of the Angels on Sunday is a good sign. Wheeler wasn’t perfect, but his curveball eluded batters and he limited damage when he needed to. Furthermore, the fact that the Mets 1-5 batters contributed at least one hit along with either a run scored or an RBI shows movement in the right direction.

What’s Next: The Mets will continue their three game series against Arizona on Tuesday when they send Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 4.09 ERA) to the mound against Bronson Arroyo (1-0, 4.82 ERA) at 9:40 p.m.

Tonight’s Game: Mets at Diamondbacks, 9:40 p.m. on SNY

The Mets travel to Arizona to star their series against the Diamondbacks at 9:40 p.m.

The game will air on SNY and you can follow along online with SNY GameDay.

Zack Wheeler will start for the Mets, while Josh Collmenter pitches for Arizona.

Mets Diamondbacks
1. Eric Young Jr. – LF 1. Gerrado Parra – RF
2. Daniel Murphy – 2B 2. Aaron Hill – 2B
3. David Wright – 3B 3. Paul Goldschmidt – 1B
4. Curtis Granderson – RF 4. Miguel Montero – C
5. Lucas Duda – 1B 5. Martin Prado – 3B
6. Juan Lagares – CF 6. Mark Trumbo – LF
7. Travis d’Arnaud -C 7. Chris Owings – SS
8. Ruben Tejada -SS 8. A.J. Pollock – CF
9. Zack Wheeler – RHP 9. Josh Collmenter – RHP

Zack Wheeler

Sound Smart: Four things to know before tonight’s Mets-D-Backs game

1) The Mets have won the last two season series with the D-Backs. However, since 2009, the Mets are 5-11 at Chase Field.

2) Dating back to last season, Zack Wheeler has allowed 11 runs in 16.0 innings spanning three starts. 

3) Juan Lagares has a hit in eight straight games, during which he’s batting .313. Lagares has at least one hit in 11 of the 12 games he’s played this season.

4) Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy and David Wright are a combined 7 for 20 with four home runs against D-Backs RHP Josh Collmenter, who will start for Arizona on Monday.

New York Mets Spring Training at their Minor League practice facility located within Tradition Field in Florida

Dan Warthen compares Mets LHP Steven Matz to Clayton Kershaw

Mets LHP Steven Matz‘s stuff compares to Clayton Kershaw, “there is no doubt in my mind,” Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen told MetsBlog’s Robert Brender this past weekend in Los Angeles.

“I hate to make those comparisons, but I just did. It’s so easy, so explosive coming out of his hand. He’s exciting to me,” Warthen said.

In two starts with Single-A St. Lucie this season, Matz is 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA, during which he has struck out 11 batters in 11 innings.

Matz, a Mets fan from Stony Brook, was drafted in 2009 and immediately had his career thrown off track when he needed Tommy John surgery in 2010. He went 5-6 with a 2.62 ERA in 21 starts last summer.

Here is Brender’s full interview with Warthen, who also talks about Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, how to choose bullpen roles, and talking with Jenrry Mejia about throwing his glove:

What happens to the OF and roster when Chris Young returns from the DL?

Mets OF Chris Young went 5-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI in his first rehab game for Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday.

Chris Young slides into second

Young is eligible and likely to be activated from the disabled list on April 18 when the team returns home to face the Braves.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Chris Young should become the everyday left fielder when he returns from the DL, and I expect Andrew Brown will be the odd man out. As for Eric Young Jr., he has struggled on an everyday basis as the leadoff hitter for this club, showing – at least in a small sample – he should be their fourth outfielder and backup to Daniel Murphy at second base. His raw skills are a nice concept for the top of the order, but he hasn’t shown an ability to be productive in that role on an everyday basis. It’s possible he will have more success in this utility role anyway, as it will limit his exposure and could be used on a more situational basis.

Maggie Wiggin, Contributor

I agree, even with the six steals, Eric Young Jr.’s production is simply not worthy of an everyday role in the lineup. He will slide over to the bench (most likely at the expense of Brown, who has done little to warrant a roster spot) and Chris Young should be penciled in as the left-fielder going forward. This should give a boost to both the offense and the defense and Eric Young Jr. will have better value off the bench as a pinch runner and backup outfielder and second basemen.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

Well, I agree and I agree, Eric Young Jr. has to go to the bench. I think it’s what is best for him. He can still get a good number of at bats playing any one of the three outfield spots, not to mention an occasional fill in for Murphy and a pinch hitting opportunity. Also, Chris Young has shown that he can hit when he plays every day. This, plus his contract, plus EY’s struggles, mean Chris must play every day, if for no other reason than he can be great trade bait – along the lines of Marlon Byrd last season – if he hits.

The most important thing, though, regardless of the two Youngs, is that Juan Lagares continues to play every day. He’s their best outfield glove and he’s been their best hitter. I don’t expect him to hit this way all year, he’s getting very lucky and pitchers are bound to adapt. However, until that happens, he has to be there every innings, no question about it.

Ike Davis 8 (Baron)

Ike Davis talks approach and knowing his role

Ike Davis has struck out just 12.5 percent of his plate appearances this season, compared to 23.9 percent career average.

Davis said he is no longer trying to hit a home run on every pitch. Instead, he only looks for pitches in the zone that he can square up on.

“I’m trying to use my hands better and see the ball longer,” he explained to MetsBlog’s Robert Brender this past weekend in Los Angeles. “I wanted to cut down on my strike outs and square up some more balls, and so far I’ve done it. I’m trying to be more relaxed, not so tense, free and easy, and not chasing stuff.”

Davis is batting .211 with a .375 OBP, one home run and three RBI in 24 plate appearances this season.