Tag:Lucas Duda
Posted on: February 28, 2012 9:43 pm
 

Spring primer: New York Mets

Terry Collins

By C. Trent Rosecrans
The Marlins made headlines with their offseason spending spree, the Phillies still have the game's most intimidating rotation, the Nationals have some of the game's biggest young talents and the Braves are a sleeper team that shouldn't be written off because of last season's late collapse. And then there's the Mets. Last season the team finished fourth in the division and went 77-85, and then they lost their best player. To say there's a lack of buzz surrounding the Mets would be an understatement.

Major additions: CF Andres Torres, CL Frank Francisco
Major departures: SS Jose Reyes, RH Chris Capuano

Probable lineup
1. Andres Torres CF
2. Daniel Murphy 2B
3. David Wright 3B
4. Ike Davis 1B
5. Lucas Duda RF
6. Jason Bay LF
7. Josh Thole C
8. Ruben Tejada SS

Probable rotation
1. Johan Santana
2. R.A. Dickey
3. Jonathon Niese
4. Mike Pelfrey
5. Dillon Gee

Back-end bullpen
Closer: Frank Francisco
Set-up: Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, Bobby Parnell

Important bench players
OF Scott Hairston, IF Justin Turner

Prospect to watch
The team's top prospect is right-hander Zack Wheeler, acquired in the Carlos Beltran trade, but if he sees Citi Field this season, it'll likely be near the end of the year when the team's fate has already been decided. Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis could contribute immediately. The 24-year-old missed the second half of the 2011 season with a torn labrum in his non-throwing (left) shoulder, but has been swinging the bat at full strength since last month. Before his injury, he was hitting .298/.403/.505 with six homers in 221 plate appearances for Triple-A Buffalo. A solid all-around player, Nieuwenhuis can play any of the three outfield sports, but center field may be where he could make his mark. The Mets have the 34-year-old Torres as the its starter in center and the 31-year-old Hairston backing him up, so it's not much of a stretch to see Nieuwenhuis get a chance sometime this season.

Fantasy sleeper: Lucas Duda
"From July 15 (about the time he took over for a departed Carlos Beltran) to the end of the season, Duda hit .322 with 10 homers and a .957 OPS -- numbers that jive with his minor-league track record. And that was at old Citi Field, complete with its big gaps, tall fences and ability to crush David Wright's spirit." -- Scott White [Full Mets fantasy team preview]

Fantasy bust: David Wright
"Over the last three seasons, he has a .284 batting average and .828 OPS, which are solid numbers but less than elite even for a third baseman. True, his struggles began the same year the Mets moved to spacious Citi Field, but that doesn't explain why his numbers have lagged on the road during that time. Thus, you can't assume the team's decision to move in the fences this year will be Wright's miracle cure. It'll help, but it won't eliminate the injuries, the perpetually rising strikeout rate and the curious home-road splits." -- Scott White [Full Mets fantasy team preview]

Optimistic outlook
Santana returns to Cy Young form and Niese takes a step forward, as the Mets pitching staff rounds into form. The new dimensions of Citi Field make a huge difference for the team's offense, with Wright and Bay returning to form, while Duda becomes a star. Even in this perfect world, the Mets could have trouble leapfrogging the Phillies, Marlins and Braves. But Bud Selig could always add another eight playoff spots, giving them a spot in the postseason.

Pessimistic outlook
Santana's injuries continue to haunt him and nobody steps up to take over at the top of the rotation. Davis isn't the same player that he was before his injury and Duda suffers from a sophomore slump, as the offense struggles overall. And then there's the chance that the problems on the field pale in comparison to the ownership problems. The worst-case scenario (well, for 2012, it's may be the best-case scenario for the long term) has a repeat of the Dodger fiasco.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 22, 2012 7:28 pm
 

Mets create practice field to mirror Citi Field

By Matt Snyder

In an effort to make the park a little less extreme -- in favor of the pitchers -- the Mets have moved in and lowered the fences in the Citi Field outfield for this upcoming season. The changes are below, with the orange line being the old wall and the blue line being the new one (also note that the left field wall was 16 feet tall and it's now only eight feet tall, among several other alterations).

And just to make things a bit more familiar for the next six weeks, the Mets have a chain-link replica of Citi Field in Port St. Lucie, Fla. for spring training.



The replica field isn't one they'll use for spring games, as it's merely a practice field (Field 7). Still, they can get in some work on the field and become more comfortable with the new dimensions. Three players -- David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda -- took batting practice on Field 7 Wednesday and there's already an excitement. Here are some quotes on the first day:

• "Today shows you that there's a big difference," Mets manager Terry Collins said (MLB.com). "It's going to change the way these guys think when they're at home plate."

• "I saw David [Wright] hit like four or five balls that last year wouldn't have been over the fence and now they're homers," Duda said (MLB.com). "I saw Murph hit one out the other day. It's the first day and the wind was blowing out a little bit, so you've got to factor it in. But it was a good day."

• “You could tell. And if you couldn’t tell, [Mets COO] Jeff [Wilpon] was there to remind you,” Wright said (ESPN New York).

• “The wind was blowing out to left pretty good, so that felt pretty good," said Murphy (ESPN New York). "I saw David hit some balls out. I think he hit one out to right-center. I think Jeff came up and said something to him. He was like, ‘See, I told you we brought them in.’ And then Duda hit a couple out to left. And there was one ball, the last swing I took, to 358 in left-center that ran out of real estate that I was like, ‘All right, I kind of like that a little bit.’”

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: June 26, 2011 12:21 am
Edited on: June 26, 2011 4:45 pm
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Peavy steps up



By Matt Snyder


Jake Peavy, White Sox. When John Danks left the game in the second inning with an oblique injury, the White Sox appeared to be doomed. After all, the bullpen had worked seven innings the previous night and the opponent -- the Nationals -- entered the game as the hottest team in the majors. Just after Danks walked off the field, however, Peavy went trotting down to the bullpen. He ended up taking the ball to start the fifth inning and straight dealing. He worked four shutout innings, allowing only one hit and striking out seven. He picked up the victory in his first career relief appearance. Peavy teamed up with Brian Bruney and Sergio Santos to throw 7-1/3 scoreless innings in relief and the White Sox broke the Nationals' four-game winning streak with a 3-0 win.

Lucas Duda, Mets. Pretty much the entire offense of the Mets could be placed here after the 17-hit, 14-run beating administered to the Rangers in Arlington Saturday afternoon, but Duda deserves special mention. He entered the game hitting just .173 and with only one multi-hit game this entire season -- and it was a two-hit game. Thus, Saturday's effort qualifies as a career day, even if he's only 25. Duda went 4-5 with three doubles, two runs and four RBI. His average rose all the way to .228. So we'll offer apologies to the rest of the team and give the spotlight to Duda.

Carlos Gomez, Brewers. Again, we're singling out one player when the entire team exploded. The Brewers beat the Twins 11-1 on the strength of 14 hits and four home runs -- one was the inside-the-park variety -- but Gomez gets a special mention. It wasn't just that he went 3-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBI, bringing his average up to .221. He also flashed his speed by scoring on a sac-fly to the second baseman.




Alexi Ogando, Rangers. Apparently I've fallen into an impromptu theme here, because this is the third straight entry where I'm spotlighting a player for a team effort. The Rangers pitchers were collectively horrible Saturday, taking the aforementioned beating from the Mets (see Duda, Lucas above). We're going to focus on Ogando because he was such an integral part of the Rangers' starting staff early in the season and has recently stumbled. Those who pay close attention to advanced metrics like FIP and BABIP knew Ogando's results were too good to be true, and now we're seeing the regression. After starting 7-0 with a 2.10 ERA and 0.90 WHIP, Ogando's gone 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA and 2.17 WHIP. He's had two bad outings and one decent effort. It could just be him tiring a bit, a few fluky outings or a downward trend. It's certainly enough for the Rangers to be concerned, however.

Tony Sipp/Cord Phelps, Indians. The Tribe took a 1-0 loss to the Giants Saturday afternoon, and those are always rough. This one has to qualify as especially so, due to the manner in which the Giants scored their lone run. After being given a gift when Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz fell down between second and third and was tagged out in a rundown on a would-be triple, the Indians decided to give several gifts of their own. Indians second baseman Cord Phelps committed errors on two of the next three hitters, at which point starting pitcher Justin Masterson was removed from the game in favor of Tony Sipp. Sipp walked Andres Torres to load the bases and then balked home the eventual game-winning run. Yes, you read that correctly. Sipp balked with the bases loaded, which plated Miguel Tejada -- and that ended up being the only run of the game.

Cardinals defense. It's been a problem for the Redbirds all season and it surfaced again Saturday. This time around, Daniel Descalso's third-inning throwing error with two outs extended the inning and the next Blue Jays' batter -- Juan Rivera -- hit a three-run homer. The Cardinals lost 6-3. They've fallen two games back of the Brewers in the mediocre NL Central and only have a one-game lead on the Reds and Pirates.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: June 17, 2011 12:52 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Weeks edition

3 Up, 3 Down: One Weeks up, one down

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jemile Weeks, Athletics -- In his ninth big-league game, the younger brother of the Brewers' second baseman is already making a name for himself. Weeks went 2 for 4 with three RBI in Thursday's 8-4 victory over the Royals, doubling in two runs to start the scoring in the second and also coming around to score in the four-run frame. He added an RBI single in the fifth. He's now hitting .344/.364/.594 since being called up to replace the injured Mark Ellis.

Nick Blackburn, Twins -- The Twins right-hander out-dueled Mark Buehrle by going eight shutout innings, allowing seven hits and one walk, while striking out one. Buehrle allowed just three hits and two walks in seven innings, but did give up the game's only run. Blackburn is 5-0 since the start of May.

Kosuke Fukudome, Cubs -- The Cubs right fielder came into Thursday's game having driven in just six runs all season, so you know where this is going -- he had four on Thursday, including a three-run homer in the seventh off of Daniel Ray Herrera to break the game open for the Cubs. Fukudome had three hits on the day and was a double shy of the cycle.


Rickie Weeks, Brewers -- Jamile's older brother was thrown out twice trying to stretch a single into a double. Fukudome gunned down Weeks both times on Thursday, in the fourth inning and the seventh inning. Weeks maybe should have learned his lesson on Wednesday night when he tried to stretch a double into a triple and was gunned down at third. 

Fernando Salas, Cardinals -- St. Louis' closer gave up his first homer of the season, a three-run shot to Nationals rookie Danny Espinosa in the 10th, allowing the Nationals to not only sweep the Cardinals, but also move out of last place in the National League Central.

D.J. Carrasco, Mets: Ugh -- a balk-off win for the Braves courtesy the Mets' reliever. Following Lucas Duda's two-out error, which allowed Diory Hernandez to get to third, Carrasco stopped his motion and then restarted it -- a balk that nobody in the park missed, scoring Hernandez and giving the Reds a 9-8 victory in 10 innings. It was the second walk-off balk in Mets history.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: March 30, 2011 4:20 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2011 5:52 pm
 

Bay headed to DL, Duda ready to step in

By Matt Snyder

Though the move isn't technically official, the Mets are going to put Jason Bay on the disabled list for the beginning of the 2011 season. They are waiting until Thursday before finalizing the move, but multiple reports already have Bay headed to the 15-day disabled list and Lucas Duda joining the Mets as Bay's replacement in left field.

"I haven't had a chance to talk directly with Jason myself," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "... I wouldn't say that we're unsure that we're going to DL him. We've got sort of a tentative direction that we're going to take. But I really don't want to discuss it until I've had a chance to talk to Jason." (ESPN New York )

Nick Evans was also in the mix to take over left field in Bay's absence, but he is headed to Triple-A Buffalo.

Bay will be eligible to come off the disabled list April 9, due to being able to backdate the move to his last spring appearance, which was last Thursday.

Duda, 25, seems eager to step into the role, though he's not a big fan of the circumstances.

"It's unfortunate that Jason hurt his rib cage," Duda told ESPN New York. "Obviously you don't want to see that happen. He's a great ballplayer and even a better guy, so you hate to see that. I'm going to go out there and try to help the team any way I can until Jason gets healthy."

Duda hit .202 with a .678 OPS last season in his 92 plate appearances, but that was after a brutal start. He was 16 for his last 51 (.314) with four home runs and 12 RBI. Prior to his promotion, he hit .314 with 17 home runs and a .999 OPS in 70 Triple-A games. Duda hit .254 with a pair of bombs and six RBI this spring. His OPS was .723 in 78 plate appearances.

Since signing a lucrative contract with the Mets last offseason, Bay played just 95 games last year, missing a significant chunk of the season due to lingering effects of a concussion. His on-field stint was disappointing as well, as he was hitting .259 with six home runs and 47 RBI -- this coming off a season where he had 36 homers and 119 RBI.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Category: MLB
Posted on: March 10, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:02 pm
 

Pepper: Rites of spring


By C. Trent Rosecrans

Every spring we get excited and pick winners for every division, count out teams, give a couple of other teams a free ride to the World Series and then sit back and are surprised when it doesn't happen.

The thing is, in baseball and in life, things change quickly and can change drastically.

Since the start of spring training games -- a little less than two weeks -- we've seen the Cardinals and Brewers lose some of their luster in the NL Central and the Phillies go from 110 wins to a struggling offense. We've even seen Carlos Zambrano be the calm, collected, sane member of the Cubs staff.

It's a rite of spring to project and to then react and overreact to anything we see on the field in these four weeks of meaningless games. And even when meaningful games start, there's enough time for injuries to happen, players to return and players to emerge to really know what's going to happen at the end.

And that's the fun of it. We don't know. You never know.

Sure, we can all expect a Red Sox-Phillies World Series, but there's no guarantee that'll happen. But if it does, I guarantee the road there will be completely different than we all imagined. And that's why this game is so great. You just never know, even if you think you know.

FEELING 'HITTERISH': Nationals über-prospect Bryce Harper has been nearly as entertaining off the field as on it, as he coin a new term on Wednesday.

From the Washington Post:

"I feel really confident in myself. There's guys who are going to come after you. I want to hit right now. I'm feeling hitterish. I'm trying to go up there and get some hacks in. I'm not going to be here for a long time. I want to try to go up there and get my hits in."

So, what's the definition of "hitterish" Adam Kilgore asked?

"You wake up in the morning, and you're feeling hitterish, you're going to get a hit that day," Harper said. "That's what it is. If you get a hit every day, you're feeling hitterish, for sure. Wake and rake."

Harper had an RBI single in his only at-bat on Wednesday and is hitting .357 this spring (in 14 at-bats).

BELTRAN BETTER: Carlos Beltran won't play in a Grapefruit League until next week, but he does feel "a lot better" and has not been "shut down." He took batting practice and played catch on Wednesday.

The Mets are looking at Willie Harris and Scott Hairston in right field if Beltran can't go, and are also giving Lucas Duda extra work in right field to prepare him to play there if needed. (New York Daily News)

GARLAND GROUNDED: Dodgers starter Jon Garland is expected to start the season on the disabled list after leaving Wednesday's game with a  strained oblique muscle on his left side. He had an MRI on Wednesday and the team is expected to announce the results today.

The team has already lost starter Vicente Padilla for at least the first month of the season after surgery to repair a nerve below his right elbow.

The injuries mean the once-pitching rich Dodgers are down to four starters, although the team won't need a fifth starter until April 12. John Ely and Tim Redding would likely be candidates if Garland and Padilla are still sidelined. (Los Angeles Times)

GOOD ADVICE: Maybe the Dodgers could get that old guy to take the mound -- the one working with Ted Lilly on Wednesday. That guy was Sandy Koufax.

"He still loves to watch baseball, loves the art of pitching," Lilly told MLB.com. "You know he was great. But he's also smart, he's passionate about pitching, he understands and sees things. Sometimes they are little things.

"I enjoy learning about baseball and talking about it with someone like Sandy Koufax, and I enjoy talking about it with Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley and Jon Garland. There are always ways to move forward, even if they are small."

ZOOM GROUNDED: Tigers manager Jim Leyland is planning his bullpen to start the season without Joel Zumaya, who has been sidelined with pain in his surgically repaired right elbow this spring.

"I don't think right now, from within camp or by trade, that you can replace a healthy Joel Zumaya -- and I emphasize a healthy  Joel Zumaya," Leyland told MLB.com. "So you have to just keep looking and try to come up with somebody, mostly from within."

The Tigers did go out and spend a lot of money on a set-up man, Joaquin Benoit, so the path leading up to closer Jose Valverde isn't barren. Ryan Perry is expected to handle seventh-inning duties, which he was expected to shoulder with Zumaya.

SALAZAR IMPROVING: Several Braves players said they feared for the worst after minor league manager Luis Salazar was hit in the face by a foul ball on Wednesday. 

"A ball hit that hard, at that short a distance, can certainly kill somebody if it hits them in the right spot," Chipper Jones told David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'm so glad to hear that he's conscious and breathing on his own."

Salazar was hit by a foul ball off the bat of Brian McCann and was airlifted to an Orlando hospital. MLB.com's Mark Bowman reports Salazar suffered multiple facial fractures, but did not suffer any brain damage. He was able to interact with family members later Wednesday night.

D-BACKS COACH BREAKS FOOT: While not nearly as serious as Salazar's injury, the timing does take away several light-hearted remarks I could make, but Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams may miss the beginning of the regular season with a broken foot.

Williams took a line drive off the foot while throwing soft toss to his son, Jake, on Monday. He's expected to miss two-to-three weeks. (Arizona Republic)

FIRST AT FIRST: Indians catcher Carlos Santana played his first-ever professional game at first base on Wednesday.

Santana cleanly fielded all nine chances he got at first and also had a double in the Indians' 9-2 loss to the Padres.

The Indians are searching for ways to keep his bat in the lineup and keep the young catcher healthy. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PILING ON: A New York  storage company is joining in on making jokes about the city's easiest target -- the Mets.

In an ad on the city's subways for Manhattan Mini Storage, it says, "Why leave a city that has six professional sports teams, and also the Mets?" (New York Times)

WHEN HIDEKI MET RICKY: New A's slugger Hideki Matsui has connected with team icon Rickey Henderson, whom Matsui admired growing up in Japan -- and the feeling is mutual. (MLB.com)

HIGH PRAISE: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera says 19-year-old left-hander Manny Banuelos is the best pitching prospect he's ever seen.

"I like everything about him," Rivera told ESPNNewYork.com. "The makeup and how he keeps his composure. I notice situations and how you react in situations. Where you make your pitches in tough situations, where you spot your pitchers, he has the ability to do that."

WHITE RETIRES: Former West Virginia and Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat White has retired from baseball.

After White was released by the Dolphins last September, White signed a minor-league contract with the Royals and played in the Fall Instructional League. On Wednesday, the team said White did not report to spring training.

The Dolphins drafted him in the second round of the 2009 draft. He was also drafted by the Angels, Reds and Yankees. (Associated Press)

RISING WATER: It's been raining here in Cincinnati, but check out just how much -- this photo from Reds assistant media relations director Jamie Ramsey gives you a big-picture view of just how high the water is on the banks of the Ohio River.

He adds another picture of flood gates set up around Great American Ball Park. (Better Off Red)


 For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
More MLB coverage
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com