The man who once helped the Royals win the 2015 World Series returned to the diamond on May 28th for the first start of his rehab assignment.
Lucas Duda, who has been out since April 26 with a lumbar strain has gone 3-for-7 with a double, RBI and strikeout in his two games with the Storm Chasers. It is unknown when the 33-year old will join the big league club again but he is expected to be out until the middle of June.
So far, in the 18 games he has appeared in this season for KC, Duda has slashed .174/.304/.326 and I only have one question: why haven’t the Royals DFA’d Lucas Duda yet?
When you look at the numbers — which is all we can do — Duda has had a less than stellar career. Last year in Kansas City, Duda slashed .242/.310/.413 which was nearly a career high in batting average. For his career, Duda hits to the tune of a .241 batting average and has never hit above the .300 mark. Along with that, the aging “first baseman” has only hit 15 home runs for the Royals. In that same two-year time span, Whit Merrifield has hit 19.
Lucas Duda is a lost cause. He is 33 years old, he’s hurt and he can’t do the one thing the Royals brought him on to do — which is hit home runs. Not to mention there isn’t enough room on the team for him.
The Royals currently have Hunter Dozier and Ryan O’Hearn that can play first base and Jorge Soler — who is doing what the Royals picked him up to do — usually occupies the designated hitter slot with either Dozier or O’Hearn able to fill it as well.
This year Duda has only appeared in 18 games, hitting safely in five and batting for a pedestrian average of .174. Not only does Duda present an easy out, but really the only thing left he has to do is prevent younger guys, like Bubba Starling or Erick Mejia, from getting big league at-bats.
To answer my original question: I don’t know. There’s no logic to why he is still here.
If Dayton Moore is committed to the rebuild as much as he’s committed to losing, he would get the old guys out of the way and baptize the young guys with fire. Losing with guys like Duda, Billy Hamilton, and Chris Owings doesn’t help the rebuild, it only hurts it.
Photo Credits: Jay Biggerstaff – USA Today Sports