Duda day impresses Terry Collins

March, 1, 2014
Mar 1
6:10
PM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Two days into the Grapefruit League schedule, Lucas Duda already has a number of hard-hit balls.

On Friday as DH, Duda flashed his strength with a broken-bat ground-rule double and also was robbed of a hit by diving Washington Nationals center fielder Eury Perez. On Saturday, Duda started at first base and crushed a fourth-inning homer against Arquimedes Caminero for the Mets’ lone run in a 9-1 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Duda finished 1-for-3 and committed an error dropping a grounder trying to pull it out of his glove on a potential double play.

The homer was a no-doubter in his mind on a fastball up in the zone.

“I hit it pretty well,” Duda said.

Duda arrived at camp last year having suffered a fractured right wrist during that offseason moving furniture into a new apartment. He then hit only .223 with 15 homers in 318 at-bats during the regular season. He was demoted during the summer to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Terry Collins asserted again Saturday that the offseason wrist injury likely affected Duda’s 2013 performance.

“More than he let on, I’m sure,” Collins said. “... I think there were some ramifications all summer long. I don’t know if he ever really felt comfortable, because certainly we know he can hit.

“I really think if you look at the job that he did at that [fitness] camp this winter, he’s lighter, yet stronger. And I think the strength has made a difference in his hands and his wrist.”
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