Duda to make Mets, as Bay's replacement

March, 30, 2011
Sandy Alderson said he cannot confirm Jason Bay will be placed on the disabled list until the left fielder's flight lands back in Florida after a midday examination with team doctors in Manhattan and he has a chance to speak with Bay.

But the GM confirmed Bay has an intercostal strain in his left rib cage and left little doubt Bay would open the season inactive.

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
Lucas Duda is poised to make the Opening Day roster with Jason Bay headed to the disabled list.

Lucas Duda will be with the team in Miami on Opening Day, having been selected over Nick Evans, who cleared waivers on Tuesday but was not officially outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo until Wednesday as the Mets weighed which player to take.

"I haven't had a chance to talk directly with Jason myself," Alderson said. "... I wouldn't say that we're unsure that we're going to DL him. We've got sort of a tentative direction that we're going to take. But I really don't want to discuss it until I've had a chance to talk to Jason."

Said Duda: "Obviously you want to come here and try to make the club. I was working as hard as I can. But I didn't think there would be a shot. It's funny how things work out. I'll go out there and do the best I can and see what happens."

Because Bay has not appeared in a Grapefruit League game since last Thursday, he would be eligible to be activated for the season's eighth game, on April 9 against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Alderson suggested he would also need to speak to Bay about a rehab plan, but the logical conclusion is to leave him in Port St. Lucie for that work, the GM added.

Duda got off to a 1-for-34 start to his big league career last season, but afterward hit .320 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 50 at-bats.

"It's unfortunate that Jason hurt his rib cage," Duda said. "Obviously you don't want to see that happen. He's a great ballplayer and even a better guy, so you hate to see that. I'm going to go out there and try to help the team any way I can until Jason gets healthy."

As for last year's experience, Duda said: "I've got a little more confidence. But it's still the big leagues, and you're still kind of nervous and stuff when you go out there."

Adam Rubin

ESPN Staff Writer
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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