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Duda is Mets' first choice at first base

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The search for a first baseman continues, but the New York Mets likely will give Lucas Duda ample opportunity to win the job.

Duda became the third different player in as many games to start at first base for the Mets on Thursday, when he went 0-for-3 with a walk in the Mets' 8-2 loss to the Washington Nationals.

The Mets don't have a hit yet this season from a first baseman, as Duda, Ike Davis and Josh Satin went a combined 0-for-8 with two walks as starters during the season-opening series.

Manager Terry Collins said Thursday afternoon that he planned to give one player several starts, beginning Friday when the Mets host the Cincinnati Reds in the opener of a three-game series, to see if that player can establish himself as the everyday option.

Collins declined to name the player in his postgame press conference, but the New York Daily News and ESPNNewYork.com reported later Thursday that Duda was the choice.

"We've got to see one of these guys play," Collins said. "If he doesn't get the job done, then we'll shift gears. But we've got to give him some ample at-bats to have a better idea."

Duda is 0-for-6 this season. He was 0-for-2 after entering in a double switch Monday, and he struck out as a pinch-hitter Wednesday. He doesn't offer the power of Davis, the patience of Satin nor the Gold Glove-caliber fielding provided by Davis.

However, Duda has a pretty good power stroke -- he entered this season averaging a homer every 25.1 at-bats -- and he is far more comfortable at first base than he is in the outfield, where he made 233 of his 317 big league starts between 2010 and 2014.

"That's up to Terry and the coaches," Duda said of the first base decision. "If I play, I'll go out there and play hard. And if I don't, I'll come off the bench. Whatever they need."
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