Nick Evans Down, Lucas Duda Up

Nick Evans has been designated for assignment by the New York Mets.

In his place, Lucas Duda has been promoted from AAA Buffalo.

There is a possibility that Duda would have been promoted instead of Evans a few weeks back, but Duda was injured at the time. Though he struggled with the big club in April, Duda has been hitting .302 with a 1.011 OPS in AAA.

Meanwhile, Evans’ time with the Mets has been dismal — he was hitless in 12 at-bats and drew 5 walks.

I have mixed feelings about this move. First of all, Evans didn’t get much of an opportunity to show what he could do. The bulk of his 17 plate appearances came off the bench. He suited up 21 times but was in the starting lineup only four times — never twice in a row. So he never really had a chance to get into a rhythm or get his timing — which is a problem when you have a long swing like he does.

On the one hand, you can say he had a dozen at-bats and didn’t do anything with them. Fair enough. Also, Dan Murphy started his hot streak around the same time Evans was called up, so it didn’t make sense to take Murph out. On the other hand, it might have been nice to see Evans get a string of three, maybe four starts in a row — perhaps split among 1B, 3B, and LF, against both lefties and righties, to see what he can do (he played 10 AAA games at 3B). Maybe we’ll see this happen later in the year, when the Mets are no longer concerned with rousing the fantasy of a postseason appearance. But hey, you’d rather watch Scott Hairston get more at-bats anyway, right?

As for Duda, his promotion makes complete sense since he’s been killing the baseball as a Bison. He’ll get into the starting lineup immediately as Jason Bay continues to ponder the meaning of life. Now here’s an interesting thought: what if Duda stays hot in MLB and goes on a tear? Does Bay watch Duda from the bench?

I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the Evans demotion and Duda promotion — post your notes in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. wohjr June 10, 2011 at 5:28 pm
    I like Duda a bit better, only because I like saying Luke-Ass DOO-DAHHHHH every time he comes up. Nick Evans looks like a lifeguard at the Y, at least Duda can look mean.
  2. Joe June 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm
    Scott Hairston? The guy is more MIA these days than Byrdak. Harris actually (if not that well at times) plays 3rd now and then. Hairston now and then pitch hits, even less now that starters are going longer.

    Any comment on the K-Rod to Yanks idea?

    • Joe June 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm
      On the issue at hand, yes, I think Evans didn’t really get enough at bats to give us a sense of what he’s capable of but by now it seems clear the team doesn’t really see much reason to care. He seems half-way useful as a toss in for a trade and showing his diversity makes sense to me. And, five walks isn’t bad in such a narrow number of at bats.

      Duda seems like a guy that needs to play every day to thrive. Unless Bay is going to “get hurt” soon or something, I don’t know how useful it is to bring him up. But, honestly, don’t really care much about him. I think Pridie is doing well and would keep on giving him time.

      • Joe June 11, 2011 at 10:50 am
        Upon second thought, I think if Duda does get suitable playing time, he could be helpful, and ala a few other players, some early problems might have been worked out some and there is some potential there. If so, adding his power and enthusiasm, he could be a useful addition.
  3. Steve S. June 10, 2011 at 10:00 pm
    Maybe Bay will get starts against lefties, and if he hits them, he’ll play LF most of the time when Beltran gets traded, with Duda (if HE hits) getting most of the starts in RF.