PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Two Spring Training games may not provide nearly enough data to draw responsible conclusions, but they do provide enough to increase concern.
After Lucas Duda went 0-for-7 with six strikeouts in his first two Grapefruit League games, Mets manager Terry Collins decided to hold Duda out of the lineup for at least the next two contests. Collins is concerned that Duda needs more time to work his swing into shape after injuring his wrist over the winter.
"I'm not here to embarrass anybody," Collins said. "So when he's ready to play, we're going to get him back in there. I'm hoping by Wednesday or Thursday he's back in the lineup."
Though Duda reported to camp fully recovered from the right wrist fracture he sustained while moving furniture in November, he was behind his normal schedule due to an inability to swing over the winter. Duda also recently tweaked his batting stance, resulting in some initial discomfort at the plate.
"His wrist doesn't hurt," Collins said. "He said, 'You know, I'm so used to taking a lot of swings to get ready for games.' He said due to the wrist, his workload has been cut back so much, he's just not ready to hit."
The Mets have already named Duda their starting left fielder, counting on him to improve upon the .239 average and .718 OPS that resulted in a demotion to the Minors last July. So they hope his first two Grapefruit League games are just an early hiccup, and not the start of a troubling trend.
"It's two games," Duda said. "We're not going to hit the panic button just yet."