The day after it was determined that Carlos Beltran needed to be shut down for four or five days because of left knee tendinitis, it appears no coincidence that Lucas Duda finds himself in Wednesday's Grapefruit League lineup in right field.
Sandy Alderson said Tuesday he was not resigned to Beltran opening the season on the DL, and indicated a short-term absence likely would be covered by Scott Hairston and Willie Harris. But using Duda in right field the day after Beltran was temporarily shut down suggests the organization may prefer Duda to Fernando Martinez for a longer-term absence. At the very least, Mets brass wants to get Duda acclimated to the position to allow for that possibility.
Duda has not previously logged an inning in right field this spring. In fact, a natural first baseman, he has been exposed to left field in the minors. But he has not played right field in any professional game.
"We'll see today," Duda said about the right-field exposure. "It will probably be an adventure out there in right field today to say the least."