The New York Mets, with about as bare an outfield cupboard as any team in recent memory, are counting on Lucas Duda to be their left fielder in 2013. The 26-year-old, injured in a freak off-season accident, says he will be ready.
Duda has been a project for the Mets both in the field and at the plate since his September 2010 call up.
At times, he has shown prodigious but inconsistent home run power as well as the ability to spray the ball to the opposite field, but so far has never put the whole package together. His high strikeout totals ( 120 in 459 plate-appearances) in 2012 led to him being sent back to the minors for a month starting in late July.
His fielding, on the other hand, has been reminiscent of a 1962 Mets "Lowlight" film on many occasions. He has mostly patrolled the vast right field of CitiField, but this year the Mets are hopeful he can replace the departed Jason Bay in their home parks' more manageable left field.
A Los Angeles native selected by the Mets in the seventh round of the 2007 entry draft, Duda hurt himself this winter. The story, as it is told, is that he broke his right wrist while moving furniture into his new apartment. He underwent surgery to repair the wrist, performed at Manhattan's Hospital for Special Surgery on November 5 by team doctor Andrew Weiland. The 6'4, 255 lb.hulk , who also has dabbled at first base defensively, was required to wear a sling for two weeks following the procedure.
Duda spoke with Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com this week, saying, "The wrist feels great". Duda also advised Rubin that he has started throwing in California, and plans to begin hitting in the next week or so.
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