On-Base Perception

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Why the Mets' Lucas Duda will stay where he is in the lineup

The Mets' Lucas Duda follows through on a

The Mets' Lucas Duda follows through on a solo home run in the second inning against the Marlins. (Sept. 21, 2010) (Credit: AP)

Lucas Duda ranks third in all of baseball with a 1.199 OPS. He's reaching base and hitting for power, the exact combination that any team could use in the middle of the lineup. But even though Mets coaches have discussed moving Duda into the cleanup spot -- which is currently occupied by Ike Davis -- manager Terry Collins said that he's content to leave Duda where he is.

On Sunday against the Nationals, that meant hitting sixth, where he has been slotted for 12 of his first 15 games.

"This game's about confidence and Lucas Duda's feeling pretty good," Collins said. "I don't want to change that. The one thing I don't want him to do is put him right now in a situation where he thinks he's got to do more than he's doing at this particular moment. We thought certainly Ike was the guy to fill that role. You saw the other night, if he gets it going, he's going to be a big difference. And he's used to hitting there."

Twice, Duda has hit fifthf. Once, he slotted in at seventh. But this season, the sixth spot has been home for Duda.

"I don't want him to all of a sudden be slapped in the fourth spot and have an 0-fer and think he's hurt the club," Collins said. "So, I just want to leave him where he's at."

Mets righthander Dillon Gee (0-3, 8.36 ERA) will be opposed by Nats' righty Jordan Zimmermann (3-0, 2.45 ERA):

Nationals

Denard Span CF

Jayson Werth RF

Bryce Harper LF

Adam LaRoche 1B

Ian Desmond SS

Anthony Rendon 3B

Danny Espinosa 2B

Kurt Suzuki C

Jordan Zimmermann RHP

Mets

Jordany Valdespin CF

Daniel Murphy 2B

David Wright 3B

Ike Davis 1B

John Buck C

Lucas Duda LF

Mike Baxter RF

Ruben Tejada SS

Dillon Gee RHP

Tags: Mets , Lucas Duda , Terry Collins

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