Lucas Duda’s stay of execution was a short one.
Several reports had him likely to be demoted to Triple-A yesterday, but instead the Mets decided to send down reliever Pedro Beato following his ugly appearance versus the Nationals last night.
That means Duda stuck around in the majors … but only for an extra 12 hours or so. He’s been optioned to Triple-A, with the Mets choosing to keep Kirk Nieuwenhuis around as outfield depth instead.
Duda worked his way into an extended opportunity with a strong performance last season, but hit just .241 with a .726 OPS in 89 games. He did flash solid power and plate discipline with 12 homers and 42 walks, but because of his poor defense Duda really has to produce to be a worthwhile regular.
The Astros have released first baseman Jon Singleton, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Singleton, 26, was suspended for 100 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse for a third time. He has had issues with marijuana in the post and admitted to being a drug addict several years ago. He said, “At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict. I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself. I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that. So I have to work against that.”
Singleton played parts of two seasons in the majors in 2014-15 with the Astros, batting a combined .171/.290/.331 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI in — appropriately — 420 plate appearances. He spent 2016 with Triple-A Fresno and 2017 with Double-A Corpus Christi, putting up middling numbers.
If he can convince teams he’s still actively working to overcome his addiction, Singleton may be able to find an opportunity elsewhere. But his road back to the majors remains long. He was once a top prospect in the Phillies’ system, then was traded to the Astros in the Hunter Pence deal back in July 2011.