A few days after saying he didn’t want to immediately place Lucas Duda in the cleanup spot in the wake of the Ike Davis trade, Mets manager Terry Collins said he may wait a month before moving Duda to cleanup. Writes Adam Rubin for ESPN New York:
"Terry Collins did not say a specific date. But the manager suggested he might give this lineup a month — with Curtis Granderson no. 2, Daniel Murphy No. 4 and Lucas Duda No. 6 — before eventually placing Duda in the cleanup spot. “We’ve put a lot on Lucas’ plate in the past week,” Collins said about the reluctance to use Duda as a cleanup hitter now. “I don’t want to pile on.”"
Collins’ thoughts on the matter are absurd for two reasons.
The first, is the fact that he’s actually entertaining the notion of having Daniel Murphy (who has hit 25 total home runs over the last three plus seasons) serve as his cleanup hitter for a month.
The second, and somehow more ridiculous part of this, is that Collins thinks placing Duda in the cleanup spot would be something he can’t handle mentally.
Apr 16, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
As was stated yesterday, the Mets anointed Duda as their first baseman before they traded Ike Davis. After the Mets traded Ike Davis, it was clear that it was Duda’s job. Somehow, Duda was able to handle that without breaking down mentally.
What Collins is suggesting, is that he feels Duda can handle the pressure of being the full-time first baseman but that he’ll crack mentally if he’s put in the cleanup spot too soon.
As Ron Darling suggested during the broadcast on Sunday, Collins’ reasoning is nonsensical.
Collins’ refusal to bat Duda cleanup is something that general manager Sandy Alderson should step in and address. Allowing this to go on for any length of time would be madness.