In a conference call this evening, Mets GM Sandy Alderson addressed several issues surrounding the team.
* Catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud will not be allowed to block the plate.
* The leadoff spot is still up in the air and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who is a candidate, still has work to do.
* If Nieuwenhuis plays fulltime he will strikeout over 100 times (he struck out 98 last year). That could give the Mets four players with over 100 strikeouts when you consider David Wright, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. While strikeouts are a concern, they are offset by an increased on-base percentage and run production.
* If the Mets are competitive this summer, he knows he will face the dilemma of trading a pitching prospect for a hitter.
These and other issues from Alderson’s conference call will be explored in greater detail in future posts.
THE GAME: If the Mets could take one positive out of this afternoon’s 12-4 waxing at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals, it is that Duda broke a 0-for-7 slide with ground single.
No, they did not stop the game to give him the ball.
Seven of those outs were strikeouts. Duda finished 1-for-3 with one strikeout, so it isn’t as if he’s found it all of a sudden.
Terry Collins noticed Duda had a more compact swing on the single and fly ball to left. It was longer on the strikeout.
Duda had been spending extra time in the batting cage to work on his mechanics, and will do so again tomorrow. He’s expected to play Friday against Detroit’s Justin Verlander.
As of now, Duda is penciled in as the left fielder. The Mets like his power potential (15 homers last year), but must be concerned about his wasted at-bats. He had 120 strikeouts with only 51 walks in 459 plate appearances.
WHEELER OUT: Wheeler was scratched from today’s start with a slight strain of his right oblique. Although the Mets have not said anything, expect him to miss at least another start.
WRIGHT PLAYS: Wright returned to the lineup with two singles. He’s not scheduled to play Thursday, but is Friday against Detroit at Port St. Lucie. Wright hopes to play third instead of DH in that game. On Saturday he leaves for the World Baseball Classic.