Lucas Duda expected to rejoin Mets when first eligible

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The Mets provided an encouraging updated on injured first baseman Lucas Duda this afternoon, as he’s expected to return from the disabled list when he’s first eligible next weekend.

According to Marc Carig of New York Newsday, Duda was diagnosed with a small thoracic disc herniation in his back following X-rays and an MRI. The Mets believe that a rehab plan of anti-inflammatories and exercise will do the trick.

Thanks to a ridiculous power surge from late July to early August, Duda has 21 home runs and an .856 OPS in 113 games this season. Daniel Murphy is starting at first base tonight with David Wright back in the lineup, but Michael Cuddyer also figures to get some playing time at the position while Duda is sidelined.

Rays’ Erik Neander named Executive of the Year

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At the GM meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona on Monday, Rays GM Erik Neander was named the recipient of Major League Baseball’s Executive of the Year Award for the 2019 season. The Yankees’ Brian Cashman was the runner-up while the Athletics’ Billy Beane and the Twins’ Derek Falvey tied for third place.

Neander has worked for the Rays since 2017 but has operated in his current role since November 2016, taking over for Matthew Silverman who was promoted to president of the Rays alongside Brian Auld.

The Rays had, by far, the lowest payroll in baseball at $53.5 million, according to USA TODAY. Neander’s peers voting him Executive of the Year on the same today the league had to curtail its awarding of a prize belt to the team that suppressed salaries the most in arbitration is… certainly interesting timing.

At any rate, Neander’s Rays went 96-66 in 2019, finishing in second place in the AL East behind the 103-59 Yankees. The Rays claimed the second AL Wild Card and defeated the A’s to earn entry into the ALDS where they lost in five games to the Astros. It was the Rays’ first playoff appearance since 2013 and their regular season win total was second-most in franchise history behind the 2008 team (97).