Atlanta made a couple of moves on Wednesday, the latter of which could play a critical role down the stretch. Lucas Duda was acquired from Kansas City for cash.
— David O'Brien (@DOBrienATL) August 29, 2018
Duda was a long-time enemy of the Braves over his eight-year career with the Mets and provided several key hits over New York’s run to the World Series in 2015. The Braves are hoping he can rekindle that magic as they push for October themselves.
A .242 hitter over his nine-year career, Duda was brought in for one reason, to hit the long ball. He is fresh off a thirty home-run season in 2017 and has thirteen more of them in eighty-six games this year.
Who knows if he even sees the field, but it is just another option Brian Snitker will have in his back pocket over the course of this playoff chase. Duda hits from the left side of the plate and will likely get the call late in games against right-handed pitching.
Let’s be honest, Atlanta went out at the trade deadline in hopes Duvall could fill this role. He put up back-to-back seasons with more than thirty home-runs in Cincinnati, but the ballpark might have been inflating those numbers a bit. He has yet to record a homer for the Braves and has eight strikeouts compared to four hits. In a month with the team, his best contribution came on the base paths as a pinch-runner. There is still a spot for Duvall because of his great defense and aforementioned ability on the bases, but the Braves cannot rely on him at the plate in key situations right now.
With Duda being a pending free agent, there was no risk in this move. The Braves acquired him for cash in hopes he can change the course of the their season with one swing of the bat. As the season’s final thirty games begin, Alex Anthopolous continues to fine-tune the ball club, and the deepest teams are usually the last ones standing.