Mets will sit Lucas Duda against a lefty this weekend
Terry Collins said a number of times during Spring Training that first baseman Lucas Duda would not be platooning early on this season, but Duda will sit this weekend against one of the Braves’ left-handed starters.
The Braves will be starting lefties on both Friday (Eric Stults) and Sunday (Alex Wood) in Atlanta, and Collins said on Wednesday that Duda would sit one of those games, with Michael Cuddyer shifting to first base and John Mayberry, Jr. playing the outfield.
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Last season, Duda hit .180 with just two home runs in 125 plate appearances against lefties.
Duda has had stark platoon splits throughout his career, so sitting him against tough lefties isn’t a bad idea. Nor is getting John Mayberry, Jr. – who crushes lefties – in the lineup.
However, what was the point of Collins stating all spring that Duda would get a chance to prove himself against lefties early on in the season if he was just going to renege on that for no reason?
Going back on his own statements is something Collins does often.
He’ll say something either repeatedly or just once, create a bit of a story, and then go back on what he said without explanation. It’s both odd and aggravating.
As it pertains to the two lefties the Mets are facing this weekend, Stults fares about the same against lefties (.284/.322/.458) than he does against righties (.273/.330/.448). Wood was actually worse against lefties (.246/.306/.361) across the board in 2014 than he was against righties (.241/.290/.355).
The above stats make me wonder if Collins has actually looked at the splits of Wood and Stults, or if he simply saw they were left-handed and made his mind up.
Either way, Duda should be getting a chance early on to prove he’s better suited to hit lefties. If Duda can’t handle it, go with a platoon, or at least sit him against some of the tougher lefties.
If Duda can handle it, great. But he won’t have a chance to prove it one way or the other if he’s not in the lineup.