PHOENIX -- The primary goal of Lucas Duda's recent Minor League demotion is for Duda to right himself at the plate. With that in mind, the Mets originally said that he would play his natural position of first base at Triple-A Buffalo, in an effort to allow him to concentrate more fully on hitting.
But Duda made his Bisons debut Thursday in right field, the same position he had played exclusively with the Mets. That may be temporary. Should Duda at all scuffle in the field going forward, manager Terry Collins has given Buffalo manager Wally Backman free reign to move Duda back to the infield.
"He's got to be comfortable, so when he gets in that batter's box, that becomes the primary focus," Collins said, noting that he still sees Duda as a right fielder long-term in the big leagues. "He cannot worry about making a mistake defensively and then come in and say, 'Well, I've got to make up for that error. I've got to hit this ball out of the park.'"