Lucas Duda did not start tonight’s 6-4 exhibition game loss against Washington, and won’t be in the lineup tomorrow. Look for him Wednesday or Thursday.
In his first two games, Duda went 0-for-7 with six strikeouts, and told reporters today, “we’re not going to hit the panic just yet.’’
The Mets will opt for extra work in the batting cage instead.
Duda, who underwent wrist surgery in the offseason, began to swing the bat in late January rather than December, and has been limited so far this spring, and manager Terry Collins attributes that to his early problems.
This is a good tact to take with Duda, who is being heavily counted on this year to fill voids in left field and power production.
Collins said this is not a demotion and doesn’t want to embarrass Duda, and believes this is the best way to restore his confidence, which can’t be too high right about now.
Nieuwenhuis will get the first chance to win the job, but the Mets are concerned about his high strikeouts ratio. He struck out 98 times with 25 walks in 282 at-bats. He did hit seven homers, but who knows what his power potential can be? For the amount of times he strikes out, he would need to hit a lot more homers.
Cowgill started tonight in center and at leadoff. It has only been a couple of games, but Cowgill has made a good first impression with his hustle.