When is a win not always a win for a sports team? When a key player on the squad gets injured in the winning effort. That’s what happened when New York Mets 1B Lucas Duda suffered a hyperextended left elbow during a recent 5-4 victory over the division-rival Philadelphia Phillies. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list.
In the 13 games he played before the injury, the 31-year-old Duda was hitting .238 with 4 home runs and 7 RBI in 42 at-bats. He has amassed 8 walks, nearly half of the 15 strikeouts he had during the first couple weeks of the season. Veteran Jay Bruce, who usually plays the outfield, is expected to get the bulk of the time at first base while Duda is out. Utility infielder T.J. Rivera, who the Mets called up from the minors when Duda was placed on the disabled list, could also play at first base when he’s not filling in at other infield positions. The position-shuffling allows the Mets to use star-in-the-making Michael Conforto on a more-regular basis in the outfield rather than just giving him occasional spot starts, as they have been doing to date.
Duda is just one of a number of Mets players to be placed on the disabled list so far this season. 3B Wilmer Flores was placed on the disabled list at the same time as Duda with a right knee infection. Veteran 3B David Wright is dealing with a herniated disk that also caused him to miss the majority of the 2016 season. Starting pitchers Stephen Matz and Seth Lugo are both dealing with inflamed right elbows.