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Lucas Duda is hurt and the Mets don't have a replacement

Tuesday's Say Hey, Baseball includes the Mets first base conundrum, the Padres' anthem screw-up and Jake Peavy's job security.

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

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Lucas Duda hasn't been having his typical season, and a back injury could be at fault. The Mets first baseman has a stress fracture in his lower back, and it's expected to cost him at least four-to-six weeks, but since it's a back injury with the word "fracture" in it, it could certainly be much more than that. The Mets don't have a replacement for Duda in the short term -- not a real one, anyway, as they're considering a mix that includes middle infielder Wilmer Flores and 27-year-old career minor-leaguer Ty Kelly at the moment. They absolutely do not have a long-term solution, either, with the team admitting they would have to look outside the organization for one.

They'll have a hard time finding a first baseman on the trade market, too, as there are few available as free agents this winter that will likely be available at this early juncture. Adam Lind and Mike Napoli are both playing on contenders, as are Mark Trumbo and Justin Smoak. If the Yankees were to move Mark Teixeira, it wouldn't be anytime soon, not when they're near .500 with so much season left. Bumping Michael Conforto to first might be the team's best move in Duda's absence since they have Juan Lagares and Alejandro De Aza to insert into the outfield as necessary. Shifting David Wright across the diamond is also an option, but he's not an every day player given his own back troubles, and that would also result in more Flores than the Mets should be aiming for.

New York is only half a game back of the Nationals and currently possess the top wild card spot in the NL, but Duda has been one of their top hitters the past two seasons and the lineup will miss even the hampered version of him that had been playing in 2016 to this point. With few options internally or externally, the Mets are just going to have to hope Duda can return closer to that four-week mark, and as the slugging first baseman they thought they were entering the season with, too.