TC: Still Duda's first-base job to lose

April, 10, 2014
ATLANTA -- Ike Davis has been in the starting lineup two of the four games this week. And Josh Satin should get at least one start this weekend in Anaheim, when the Mets face two left-handers in a three-game series.

But Lucas Duda remains the everyday player, Terry Collins said.

Got it?

"We made a decision. You don't have much credibility if you keep changing your mind every other day because somebody goes 2-for-4," Collins said Thursday afternoon, before the series finale against the Atlanta Braves. "We're not going to do that. I told Ike the other day he's going to play today. As a matter of fact, he came in to make sure he was in the lineup today. I said, 'Hey, I told you you're going to play. You're going to play.'

"We're going to go to Anaheim. We've got two left-handed pitchers. I'm going to get Josh Satin a start. But, most likely, Lucas Duda will be the other first-base option out there. Saturday [against right-hander Jered Weaver] we'll make a decision on who DHs and who plays first. For the most part, Lucas, every four games, he's going to get three of them. But I just think it's important to keep Ike as sharp as we can because he'll be coming off the bench in big situations. So we need to get him at-bats."

Duda is hitting .182 with two homers and four RBIs so far.

"You're looking at 20 at-bats," Collins said. "I'm not sure that's a fair number to really predict what the results should be of how he's applying himself. I thought he's swung the bat fine. ... We've got to give him a fair number of at-bats to make the decision if it's going to work or not."

Asked about the difficulty in juggling his first basemen, Collins added: "It's very difficult because, No.1, we've pitched so well. Our starting pitchers have gotten us deep into games. So there's not a lot of double-switching going on. We haven't had many pinch-hitting opportunities, because it's not until late where the pitcher comes up for the third time, where you might have to hit for him. So it's been very hard. It's been tough to get those guys ample number of at-bats."

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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