Awful news for the New York Mets this afternoon as starting first baseman Lucas Duda has been diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back and been placed on the 15-day disabled list. Terry Collins had stated that Duda will be out for awhile and the optimistic timetable for a return currently sits at 4-6 weeks. It is a brutal blow for the Mets lineup as Duda was being depended on for his power in the middle of the Mets lineup. Duda was having an inconsistent year thus far slugging 7 home runs and 19 RBI’s in 39 games but hitting a lowly average of .231.
At this point it seems Eric Campbell will fill in at first base for the Mets during the current series in Washington until Wilmer Flores is activated from the disabled list on Friday. At that point Wilmer Flores will be considered the Mets starting first baseman for the time being. Flores is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment tomorrow with the AA Binghamton Mets as he returns from his left hamstring injury.
Terry Collins expressed interest in Michael Conforto taking ground balls at first base, but Conforto has no previous experience at the position, which means don’t count on seeing him there anytime soon. David Wright has also offered Collins his services at first base but Collins has stated that move is not under consideration currently. The Mets will put all their marbles in a combination of Wilmer Flores and Eric Campbell at first for the time being, and hopefully it works so the Mets won’t have to explore outside options.
In a corresponding move utility player Ty Kelly has been promoted from AAA Las Vegas and added to the 40-man roster. Kelly was hitting at a torrid pace and leading all of baseball with an over .400 average a few days ago in over 30 games played. Kelly was currently hitting .391/.478/.548 with 2 home runs and 15 RBI’s in 35 games this season at the Triple-A level. Kelly who will be making his major league debut at the age of 27, has been described as another Eric Campbell with speed.
In another move the Mets have designated left-handed pitcher Dario Alvarez for assignment to create room for Kelly on the 40-man roster. Alvarez came into the season as the team’s 22nd ranked prospect by MLB.com but he has struggled mightily at the AAA level. The 27-year old held a 9.98 ERA in 17 appearances with the 51’s and will need to pass through waivers unclaimed in order to return to the Mets.
This is the second blow to the Mets starting lineup, as catcher Travis d’Arnaud was placed on the 15-day disabled list back on April 26th with a strained right rotator cuff. No date has currently been set for his return.