PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) New York Mets first baseman Lucas Duda will not swing a bat for the next few days as he recovers from a mild left intercostal strain.
”It’s just a little sore, it’s really a non-issue,” Duda said Tuesday, when Mets position players were due to report to spring training. ”Just kind of taking time because, obviously, we haven’t started yet. I foresee no issues for it.”
Duda did not know when the strain occurred. He said has not swung a bat ”for a couple weeks” and received a cortisone injection.
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Duda took infield practice Tuesday and said he doesn’t have any discomfort throwing. While he hasn’t been able to swing, Duda has been in the batting cage every day tracking pitches.
Duda was limited by a calf strain last spring training, then led the Mets’ offense with 30 home runs and 92 RBIs. He said he returned to Port St. Lucie after the season to begin offseason training.
Mets manager Terry Collins is concerned about the number of players who have sustained oblique or intercostal strains in recent years.
Third baseman David Wright and second baseman Daniel Murphy missed most of the exhibition season in 2013 and center fielder Juan Lagares spent time on the disabled list last year because of intercostal strains. Collins said the team will ”track every swing” players take to make sure no is overdoing it.
”I guess there’s a fine line between overworking and trying to get better,” Duda said. ”I don’t foresee it being a big issue. I should be ready to go in a couple days or so.”
New York’s first full-squad workout is Thursday.
Left fielder Curtis Granderson said he was looking forward to working with hitting coach Kevin Long again. Long, hired by the Mets in the offseason, was Granderson’s hitting coach with the New York Yankees from 2010-13.
”It’s just a sense of confidence,” Granderson said. ”He was always your biggest fan. No matter what he ended up talking about in terms of mechanics or approach or different things, once you came off the field, he was first one there saying, `Hey, you’re real close. You’re almost there.’ So mentally – as you know confidence in this game is a big thing – you’re very confident to continue to get back and work with him.”
Granderson hit a career-low .227 with 20 home runs last season. He was a two-time All-Star with the Yankees.