Lucas Duda has been at the Mets Spring Training facility for about three weeks in Port St. Lucie, and has been going to work with hitting coach Dave Hudgens on making some adjustments to his batting stance. These adjustments are said to not be major, and it’s obvious Duda is far from putting all of this work together on the field, as he went 0-for-7 with six strikeouts in his first two Grapefruit League games this weekend, including a four-strikeout performance yesterday against the Astros.
I wasn’t expecting Duda to start dropping bombs the second he stepped up to the plate, but this couldn’t be a worse start for the projected Mets starting left fielder. Terry Collins said he’s still trying to get his timing down, and the only way for him to put it all together is to continue putting him into the lineup, as that was the plan from the beginning. So, we’ll hopefully watch Duda start to make some progress this week, and the work he’s put into his swing so far this month will start yielding some results for the left-handed hitter.
As we all know, Spring Training statistics don’t mean much, but it’s important for Duda to see some positive results quickly so he can build some confidence in his new approach. He’s been known to have confidence issues in the past, which gives me some agita when I see him struggle as much as he did this weekend, but this will be a good test to see if he did any growing up from the lessons he learned last year and having the winter to hit the re-set button mentally. The process of making adjustments to a player’s swing and his approach at the plate is just that…a process. We’ll find out quickly if Duda will continue to allow the time needed for these changes to start taking effect.
Pedro Feliciano was ordered to wear a heart monitor to get to the bottom of his potential heart issue, and he’s going to be shut down for two weeks, which could put a damper on his chances to make the Mets bullpen out of camp. I’ll go over some of the other options the Amazins have if Feliciano doesn’t end up working out.
The Mets had their first split squad day of the spring, as Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee helped the Mets move past the University of Michigan, 5-2. Meanwhile, Matt Harvey made his spring debut against the Houston Astros, ending in a 7-7 tie. Collin Cowgill continued to impress, as he collected two more hits against Houston. You can get a quick recap of both games right here.
There was a solid dosage of Mets history on Rising Apple yesterday; Rich Sparago decided to take a trip down memory lane and put the spotlight on Rusty Staub since the Mets game against the Astros wasn’t televised for our viewing pleasure. Also, Will DeBoer decided to keep the Benny Agbayani train going by featuring him on the latest installment of Glory Days.
The Mets will be back on television tonight, as they once again take on the Nationals at Tradition Field at 6:10pm EST; the game will be shown on both SNY and MLB Network.