Mets recall Lucas Duda from Triple-A

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The Mets announced this morning that they have recalled Lucas Duda from Triple-A Las Vegas. In turn, Mike Baxter has been optioned back down to the minors.

Duda batted .235/.353/.438 with 11 home runs and 23 RBI through 68 games this season prior to landing on the disabled list with an oblique strain in late June. After completing a rehab assignment, the 27-year-old was optioned to Triple-A, where he hit .306 (19-for-62) with zero homers, three doubles and a 15/14 K/BB ratio over 18 games.

As Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com notes, because Duda was in the minors for less than 20 days after being optioned, the Mets will not lose his option status for this year. This means he will have one option left for 2014.

Duda primarily played first base while in Triple-A, but it’s unclear what role he’ll have now that he’s back with the big club. Ike Davis owns a .272/.435/.439 batting line in 41 games since returning from his demotion, though he’s currently in a 5-for-29 funk. While Eric Young, Jr. has struggled at the plate over the past month or so, the Mets probably don’t want to see Duda lumbering around in left field again.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

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As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.