The Mets are in Milwaukee this weekend, and are planning on having Lucas Duda with them.
Duda has been out since April 19th — when he left the game early after an awkward play at first in which he hyperextended his elbow. He and his backup Wilmer Flores were both placed on the 10-day disabled list shortly after. This brought up T.J. Rivera, who we all know has been quite the asset to this team.
Duda began a rehab assignment almost two weeks ago. He was supposed to return from the disabled list a little while after this, but felt a “twinge” in his elbow, causing more setbacks. We can’t really say that anyone was surprised, as we all unfortunately know a bit too well Duda’s recent history with injuries.
However, in a rehab game for High-A St. Lucie just this past Wednesday, Duda was DH. He went 1-for-3, including a homer.
Of course, Duda’s return brings up the question of what is going to happen to Rivera. No one wants to see him sent down, as he has contributed to this team, and has proved himself to deserve a spot on the roster. So, what should happen? Will they platoon the two players? Many Mets fans don’t seem to want this. However, this is a Twitter poll so take it as you may.
As the veteran, Duda is going to get the starts. We know this. But the Mets have to try to get Rivera in the lineup somehow. He needs at-bats, not only for himself and his development, but for the team as well. Rivera’s currently hitting .300 in 60 at-bats with 18 homers. Not too shabby at all.
"“You’re darned right. T.J., he did it to us last year. He came up here and just kept getting hits and because of injuries, he ended up finding his way into the lineup in the playoffs. He’s dangerous at the plate, he’s got some power, he puts the bat on the barrel, uses the whole field to hit and it’s going to be tough to get him out of there.”"
The Mets have not been the greatest in figuring out what to do with such young talent in the lineup. And that needs to change. However, with the track record the Mets currently have regarding injuries, it won’t be to anyone’s surprise if someone else goes down and Rivera is able to fill the hole once again.
On the brightside, Rivera is a player who can play multiple positions and isn’t simply confined to first base. He is a scrappy player; nothing was expected at of him. But he’s proven himself, and hopefully the Mets figure out what to do with him.