Mets using Trout video to help streaking Duda
Lucas Duda has been on a torrid stretch of late, bumping his OPS up 175 points since last Sunday with four multi-hit performances and six extra-base hits in his past five games.
The New York Mets can thank Mike Trout for that.
On Saturday, before Duda went 2-for-4 with a solo shot in his club's 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Mets hitting coach Kevin Long said he and Duda have been watching video of Trout - the two-time MVP with the incomprehensible .342/.463/.752 slash line in 2017 - to help out New York's streaking first baseman.
"We were watching some Mike Trout video and watching how deep he lets the ball travel," Long told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. "Sometimes a visual of another player can help. It did in this case."
Duda, who missed nearly three weeks after landing on the disabled list with a hyperextended elbow April 22, went just 4-for-26 (.154) with no home runs in his first nine games off the DL, but the 31-year-old now trails only Michael Conforto for the team lead in OPS (min. 100 plate appearances) following his recent turnaround.
"Like I told him, 'You've got to keep going,'" Long said. "'If you have a month like this and just prove to yourself you can do this, you turn into one of the best hitters in baseball.'"
Newly installed as the No. 5 hitter in New York's battered lineup, Duda, a free agent next winter, carries a career-best .406 on-base percentage and .570 slugging percentage into Sunday's series finale at PNC Park.
"I'm just trying to hit the ball right now," Duda said. "Coming out of that rough patch, I'm just happy I can contribute."