Lucas Duda’s last eight hits have been home runs

11 Comments

Update: Well, the streak is over. Duda hit a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth inning against lefty reliever Matt Thornton.

Mets first baseman Lucas Duda is on a home run tear. The slugging lefty drilled solo home runs in each of his first two plate appearances on Saturday night against the Nationals, giving him eight since July 25, a span of seven games and 25 plate appearances. What’s more: all eight of those hits have been home runs.

The rundown:

  • July 25: Duda hit two solo home runs in a 15-2 rout of the Dodgers.
  • July 28: Duda hit a two-run home run off of James Shields in the first inning in an eventual 4-0 win against the Padres.
  • July 29: Duda swatted three solo home runs, providing all of the Mets’ offense in a 7-3 loss to the Padres.
  • August 1: Duda provides both of the Mets’ runs against Nationals starter Joe Ross with two solo home runs.

The game is tied 2-2 after seven innings at the time of this writing.

Duda’s triple-slash line is up to .244/.345/.476. On the season, he’s slugged 20 home runs and knocked in 47 runs. He hit a career-high 30 home runs last season and could be on his way to equaling or surpassing that by season’s end.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

Getty Images
9 Comments

Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?