Collins: Duda must hit lefty pitching

February, 13, 2013
2/13/13
9:47
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Collins knows this much: A team with too many platoons will not win.

So Collins emphasized the importance Wednesday morning of lefty-hitting Lucas Duda hitting southpaws well this season if the Mets are going to compete in the NL East. After all, the Mets may employ a Kirk Nieuwenhuis-Collin Cowgill platoon in center field and Mike Baxter-Marlon Byrd platoon in right field. And three outfield platoons are just impractical anyway.

Duda will be the regular left fielder.

Last season, Duda hit .239 with a .304 on-base percentage, four homers and 11 RBIs in 148 plate appearances against southpaws. Against righties, he hit .240 with a .341 OBP, 11 homers and 46 RBIs in 311 plate appearances.

In 2011, Duda had a .274 average, .328 OBP, no homers and 11 RBIs in 68 plate appearances against southpaws. He hit .297 with a .380 OBP, 10 homers and 39 RBIs in 279 plate appearances against righties.

"He can hit lefties, because he hits the ball to the opposite field pretty well," hitting coach Dave Hudgens said. "The key to hitting the lefties is staying in the middle of the field and not trying to pull too much, and staying on the baseball. He's more than capable of doing that. And I think the year before he hit lefties pretty well. He can hit lefties."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187