Instructional league right for Duda?

Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins have resolved to continue using Lucas Duda in right field on occasion during the rest of the season, because Duda is much more likely to be situated there than at first base in 2012. After all, Ike Davis should be back from his ankle issue. But given the opportunity to use Duda in right field and Nick Evans at first base on Thursday afternoon, Collins opted for the opposite alignment.

Lucas Duda

Lucas Duda

#21 1B
New York Mets

2011 STATS

  • GM62
  • HR3

  • RBI26

  • R18

  • OBP.342

  • AVG.279

“Sandy and I talked about getting him back in right field, and today would have been an opportunity because we could have put Nick at first,” Collins said. “You know, (Duda’s) just playing so well, and I just hate to disrupt -- especially a young player -- and move him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Let me get comfortable in one place.

“I still believe that’s why you have spring training. He’s played enough outfield, especially the last two years, that we’ll have time. The worst-case scenario, at the end of this year if we’re not in the postseason, we say, ‘Hey, look, we’ve got to get him ready for the outfield,’ I’ll send him to the instructional league for two weeks. What the heck? Let him go down there and get fly balls every day.”

The Mets sent Daniel Murphy to instructional league, which is typically for young players, last October in Sarasota, Fla., to gain familiarity at second base.

Said Duda: “I’ll play wherever -- right field or first base. I feel a little more comfortable at first. I’ve been playing there more often. Right field is a work in progress still, but anywhere that’s going to get me at-bats.”