NEW YORK -- Satisfied with their current outfield mix and unsure of Lucas Duda's potential role in it, the Mets on Wednesday activated Duda from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. This marks the second time in two years that Duda has been optioned.
"I hope he just goes and tears it up and comes back," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But with what we've got in the outfield and what Ike's done so far, I don't know where we're going to put him. He got here once; he'll get back here."
Duda, 27, still had about a week remaining on his Minor League rehab assignment, which could have run a maximum of 20 days. But knowing they did not have a spot for him at the big league level, the Mets made the proactive move of shuttling their former starting left fielder to Las Vegas.
Duda had been sidelined since June 22 with a strained left intercostal. At the time, he was an integral part of the team, batting .235 with 11 home runs, 23 RBIs and a .791 OPS in 68 games.
But in his absence, the Mets have grown reliant on a more defensive-minded starting alignment of Marlon Byrd, Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr. Widely considered a poor defensive outfielder, Duda -- a natural first baseman -- would have disrupted that mix.
"Somebody doesn't deserve to not play," Collins said of his three starting outfielders. "So right now, with Lucas [having been] out for a while, he's just got to go play [in the Minors]."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less