The Duda will abide once again; Lucas Duda, who was demoted a month ago after he fell into a deep slump at the plate, has been activated in time to play Sunday in the series finale against the Astros at Citi Field. Before he was optioned back to Triple-A to work on his swing, Duda put together a .241/.335/.391 line, including 12 homers and 44 RBI.
With rosters expanding in a week, there is some curiosity as to why Duda is essentially being rushed back up to the Big League squad. One could think that the offense is struggling so mightily that they’re looking for any possible spark to get the lineup in a groove again. The slugging outfielder played 25 games with the Buffalo Bisons and amassed 96 at-bats, while not being incredibly productive (.260/.327/.396 with 3 homers and 8 RBI). Another interesting note to add to this head scratching call up is that Duda won’t be playing right field upon his return, where he started 77 games this season. Instead, he will be seeing time in left field and occasionally at 1st base. Going back to earlier rumors that some front office people weren’t convinced that Ike Daviswas the future at first base or not makes me wonder if this could act as an audition for Duda.
So far this season, Josh Edgin has been a God-send for the Mets bullpen. Although his 1-1 record and 4.76 ERA in 17 innings pitched doesn’t look overly impressive, he recently hit a rough patch that saw his ERA rise quickly. Once Tim Byrdak went down for the year with a shoulder capsule injury, Edgin become the lone Mets southpaw in the bullpen. New York recently re-called Robert Carson to provide some extra support, but between the Majors and Minors, Edgin has appeared in 63 games this season, up from 49 appearances last year. The Mets are creating a history of misusing relievers (especially of the left-handed variety); first, it was Pedro Feliciano, now Byrdak. So, even though Terry Collins recently said they’re monitoring Edgin’s innings and the number of times he’s throwing in the ‘pen, he said the same thing about Byrdak, and look what happened to him. I know they’re trying to win games, but this kid is one of the few positives to come out of the Mets bullpen this season, and he needs to be ready to contribute regularly in 2013.
With a young team out of the playoff hunt, a coaching staff always has to be on high alert to make sure they’re still giving max effort. Collins has been quoted a few times this week as saying his ball club hasn’t packed it in for 2012 just yet, but it looked like it yesterday at Citi Field for a moment, as Ruben Tejada popped up in the middle of the Mets’ 3-1 win against the Astros yesterday, and didn’t give 100% down the baseline. It was so noticeable that not only did he have a chat with Terry Collins about it, but David Wright came over to him and had a few words for the 22-year-old. When watching the game Friday, I noticed Tejada ease up on a ground out when he could have made it a close play, something he did back in June. While he’s having a fantastic year (.302/.346/.376), it’s easy to not go all out as the Mets have spiraled out of contention. Collins wants to set a precedent moving into 2013 and this should be step one. Hopefully, Ruben won’t be doing that again any time soon.