Mets heavy on sluggers even without Duda

Wright, Cespedes, Walker go deep in win against Nationals

Mets heavy on sluggers even without Duda

WASHINGTON -- Depth is not necessarily linear. For example: the Mets lost a first baseman on Monday, placing Lucas Duda on the disabled list for the foreseeable future. As assistant general manager John Ricco put it, "We're not going to be able to replace Lucas internally. We're losing one of our better players. It's not like we have another Lucas Duda in the organization."

But the Mets do have other power hitters. So while they may not be particularly deep at first base, as evidenced by the fact that they are considering moving Michael Conforto or even David Wright to the position, they are deep with sluggers. The Mets proved that for the umpteenth time on Monday, bashing three homers en route to a 7-1 win over the Nationals.

Wright's three-run shot off Gio Gonzalez was the highlight for a Mets team that also received long balls from Yoenis Cespedes and Neil Walker. Cespedes leads the Major Leagues with 15 homers, and there's a decent chance Walker could eclipse 20 for the second time in his career. If healthy, Wright is a strong bet for double-digit homers, as are Curtis Granderson, Conforto and Asdrubal Cabrera.

Wright's three-run homer

So while Duda leads the Mets with 64 homers since the start of the 2014 season, the Mets -- unlike in years past -- have other sluggers upon which they can draw.

"It's a very difficult task to replace Duda," Cespedes said through an interpreter. "I think we all know that he's a very high-quality player. I think we're all aware, the rest of us that are here, that we really have to step up."

The Mets lead the National League with 63 home runs, and seven weeks into the season, it's become clear that this is not just some passing phase. This is how the Mets are built, meaning they are better equipped to survive the departure of a 30-homer slugger than just about any team in baseball.

Walker's solo home run

The Mets still must pitch, which they did Monday with seven strong innings from Bartolo Colon. They still must find ways to score when they are not homering, as they did in stringing together five consecutive hits off Gonzalez in the third.

But home runs are their forte. Fifty-five percent of their runs this season have come via homers, the highest percentage in baseball and more than 25 percent higher than the next-closest National League club. It's a unique offense in that sense, and uniquely equipped to overcome the loss of Duda -- even if that's a challenge they'd prefer not to face.

"It's nice that we've got some depth," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But we are going to miss him."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.