Mets Diamond Notes: Lucas Duda Could Be Back Soon, Santana Insists He’s Healthy

By Matt Musico

Lucas Duda was pretty upset when he was told he was being sent back down to Triple-A. Although he was determined to get back on track at the plate and return to the Majors, he felt a bit slighted because he thought he should have received the same treatment through his slump that Ike Davis did. Either way, Duda’s 6-for-43 stretch with the Mets ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back, as they advised him to get his swing back with the Buffalo Bisons.

After some time, Duda is starting to look like the hitter the Mets got used to seeing in the first half of the season. He’s hitting .239/.34/.391 in 12 games with the Bisons, but has gotten hot of late, hitting .333 in his last 10 games and collecting two homers and six RBI in that span. According to Mike Puma, Duda decided to “stop sulking” and focus on his swing since that would be the one way he would be able to return to the Bigs. Sources say that the slugging outfielder will return before rosters expand on September 1st, and

could find playing time in a platoon with Jason Bay. I actually agree with Duda; I felt he should have gotten more of a chance to snap out of his slump at the Big League level like Davis did, especially since he was so productive throughout the first half. However, this is a good lesson for Duda, as he knows he needs to keep working hard at his craft, because no one’s seat is secure.

Garrett Olson‘s time with the Mets was very short; about 0.1 innings short. He gave up four runs during that time, giving him a lovely ERA of 108.00. To make room for Johan Santana to come off the disabled list, New York designated Olson for assignment, once again leaving Josh Edgin as the sole lefty reliever. Meanwhile, Santana’s latest outing put him in some company he’d rather not be around; he’s now recorded only four outs in a start twice this season (both against Atlanta), and he joins Al Leiter and Pedro Astacio as the only Mets pitchers to give up six-plus runs in four straight outings. Both Santana and Terry Collins said that his ankle and arm are both healthy, but he’s just rusty because he hasn’t been on the mound in a Big League game since July 20th. However, Howard Johnson, former Mets hitting coach, has quite the hunch:

"“They’ll never admit it but Johan is not healthy and hasn’t been for awhile. I think arm. More of a hunch. When you’re healthy it’s effortless — don’t feel like you have to overthrow or work as hard to get the velocity. I know through my own experience, plus seen a lot of players go through it and it’s very difficult to deal with.” (via ESPN New York)"

According to MetsBlog, Collins has said that he hasn’t had any discussions about promoting Jenrry Mejia or Jeurys Familia yet, but it looks as though they could be getting the call when rosters expand on September 1st. Overall, Mejia is a respectable 2-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 62.2 innings pitched for the Bisons this season. He’s been fantastic as a starter (0-1, 1.16 ERA in five starts), but has struggled terribly as a reliever (1-1, 5.48 ERA). Collins is aware of this, but said Mejia will continue to pitch in relief if he gets the call, especially with next year’s rotation looking as it does.

On the other hand, Familia has also had an up-and-down season in 2012, as he’s 7-7 with a 4.98 ERA in 24 starts. The 22-year-old has struck out 100 hitters in his 112 innings pitched this season, but his BB rate is currently sitting at 5.3 and his WHIP is at an underwhelming 1.64. However, with the Mets out of contention in both the division and the Wild Card race, it would make sense to see what they have in Familia, and give him a taste of the Big Leagues.