Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Mets [Print without images]

Thursday, April 18, 2013
Duda sits, Byrd gets center attention

By Adam Rubin

DENVER -- Lucas Duda, who departed Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader with back tightness, was held out of Thursday's afternoon series finale against the Colorado Rockies.

"I know that, as of yesterday, he was still a little stiff," Terry Collins said. "The pain wasn't too bad, but there's a process we want to make sure he goes through before he's ready. Twenty-two degrees is not really the time to test it. So I'll play the other guys today."

Minus Duda, Collins chose to put Jordany Valdespin in left field, Marlon Byrd in center and Mike Baxter in right field.

Byrd actually has started far more major league games in center field (770) than either left field (119) or right field (96) during his career.

"You saw the other day, this is a tough place to play the outfield," Collins said about Coors Field. "I'd rather have the experienced guy in center field. That's why I decided to put Marlon out there. When Duda was going to be out, I wanted to get Baxter in there and I wanted to get Valdespin in there also. I just thought putting [Valdespin] in center field is an injustice to him -- here."