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Is this why Lucas Duda won the first base job?
When news began trickling out that the Mets were going to give one of their first basemen an extended look at the position, most assumed the winner would be Ike Davis.
Until it was Lucas Duda.
A team insider confirmed to Newsday’s Marc Carig that it would indeed be Duda receiving the long look, saying “we want to see what he can do for an extended period of time.”
There wasn’t much other information given as to why Duda won the job (for now). But it may be simply about matchups.
The Mets are due to face righthanded pitchers in their next five games: Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon of the Reds and Aaron Harang and David Hale of the Braves. Neither Davis or Duda have faced Hale, but both have logged 24 at-bats against the other four starters.
Here’s the breakdown:
Davis is 3-for-24 against the quartet with a walk and four total bases. That’s a .125 average and .326 on-base plus slugging percentage.
Duda, however, is 9-for-24 with four walks and 16 total bases, a robust .375 average and 1.130 OPS.
It’s a very small sample size, but in a contest between two slugging, lefthanded first baseman that have yet to live up to expectations, the slightest edge is important.