Bad news for one of the most productive rookies in the National League.
Lucas Duda crashed into the right field wall while trying to track down a fly ball hit by Albert Pujols during Wednesday’s game. While it looked like a fairly innocuous play at the time, the rookie outfielder left the game with dizziness and is now suffering from headaches.
The Mets have yet to rule out a concussion and manager Terry Collins told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York this morning that Duda may not play in the final six games of the season.
Duda, 25, is batting .292/.370/.482 with 10 homers, 50 RBI and an .852 OPS over 347 plate appearances this season. He ranks 10th in the National League (among players with at least 200 plate appearances) with a .957 OPS since the All-Star break.
Collins told Rubin last night that he envisions Duda as the starting right fielder for the club in 2012. He also mentioned the possibility of flipping Jason Bay to right field and moving Duda to left.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.