Duda, Zobrist set to contribute in outfield in Japan
With only two true outfielders on roster, duo expected to pitch in along with Carter
LOS ANGELES -- When Bryce Harper dropped out of the Japan All-Star Series for personal reasons, it left the MLB team with only two true outfielders: Dexter Fowler and Yasiel Puig.
That means that Ben Zobrist, Chris Carter and Lucas Duda, who started a combined 46 games in the outfield this past season, are all likely to see playing time there in Japan.
Zobrist did appear in 54 games in the outfield in 2014, and Carter played there regularly as recently as last summer. But Duda, a full-time first baseman for the Mets, did not. He admitted to being "a little nervous" about the prospect of logging serious innings in left, though a crash course during Friday's workout at Dodger Stadium put him more at ease.
For Duda, the position switch was a small price to pay to be a part of the All-Star Series. When news of the All-Star Series first broke, Duda, who finished third in the National League with 30 home runs, asked MLB in his typical modest way if he could take part.
"I understand the caliber of player who plays in this," Duda recalled writing. "But I'm interested, too."