The Dilemna For The Mets At First Base
The news from the doctors was not good as Lucas Duda has a stress fracture in his back meaning it will be 4-6 weeks before we even know what the next steps will be. That being said, the Mets are considering a number of options some in the short term while others are more long term solutions.
Eric Campbell will get the starts in the short term until Wilmer Flores can return to the active roster. He is beginning a rehab assignment this week in Florida and the earliest he could return is Friday.
Prior to today's game, Terry Collins floated an interesting long-term solution as he said that Michael Conforto could be an option at first base giving Juan Lagares a more everyday role as the CF with Yoenis Cespedes moving to left field. We all spoke to Conforto about it today and he stressed he will do anything to help the team. However, he also indicated it is not a position he has played or even tinkered with on the professional level.
Collins even told us he approached David Wright about it on a purely speculative level but the sense I got was the Met captain does not need a change of positions which would add to his prep time before a game which is already a cause of concern.
Duda's big bat will be missed as he is a power hitter that is streaky but can be lethal when his bat s going great. The one thing I did not hear mentioned which I think could be a good alternative is moving Neil Walker to first and bringing up Dilson Herrera to play second base. I think the world of Herrera and I firmly believe he is a potential All-Star at that position. I certainly understand that Terry may feel the DP combo of Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera has been great and he does not want to disturb that but the possibility of Herrera intrigues me.
There is also the possibility the Mets look outside the organization but to me that is not something they are entertaining right now simply because with the trading deadline over 2 months away, so much can happen between then and now.
Still, offensively the loss of Duda hurts and will make the contributions of Granderson, Wright, and Walker even more important in helping the 2 terrific bats of Conforto & Cespedes. This Met team has proven in the last 12 months it can withstand tons of adversity and has always responded to EVERY challenge. Terry Collins never uses injuries as an excuse and trusts every single person in that clubhouse to step up.
This one is a real tough pill to swallow but it is my belief Terry will find a way to make something work. He always does.