Lucas Duda was shut down from doing any baseball activities when he experienced a “flare up” in his back according to general manager Sandy Alderson.
Alderson further elaborated that Duda was sent to California to see Dr. Robert Watkins, who prescribed 30 days of rest for Duda, and it “doesn’t look good” that Duda will return this season. This comes on the heels of the news that he had resumed baseball activities back in July.
The first sign of trouble for Duda came on May 21 when he underwent a MRI and was scratched from the lineup with back stiffness. He really was not himself early on so it is reasonable to assume he might have experienced some pain earlier than that. Duda was struggling at the plate and not taking his walks like he has in past seasons. He was batting just .231/.297/.431 with seven home runs and 19 RBIs.
Two days later the Mets placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a stress fracture in his lower back. Ty Kelly and Eric Campbell were called upon to replace Duda since his backup heading into the season, Wilmer Flores, was also on the disabled list.
That forced the front office to look outside the organization to find an upgrade at first base. They settled on James Loney, whom they acquired from the Padres on May 28. Loney has done a solid job filling in for Duda. He is hitting .284/.336/.442 with six home runs and 21 RBIs. However, he is not the slugger Duda is and it is hard to replace someone who has 57 home runs in the past two seasons.