PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If Lucas Duda's batting eye is indeed as rusty as he contends, he did not show it in Friday's 11-3 win against Houston. Duda ripped a two-run double in his Grapefruit League debut, shaking off the back spasms that kept him out of the Mets'
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- If Lucas Duda's batting eye is indeed as rusty as he contends, he did not show it in Friday's 11-3 win against Houston. Duda ripped a two-run double in his Grapefruit League debut, shaking off the back spasms that kept him out of the Mets' first week of spring games.
"It was definitely nice to get that first one out of the way," Duda said. "I'm a little bit rusty but that's part of the deal. I'll just keep working and see where I end up."
Starting at first base, Duda played four innings in the field, finishing 1-for-2 with a strikeout. His main concern was health; Duda missed time last week due to back spasms, which resulted in Mets doctors administering a cortisone shot into each of his hips.
The injury seemed ominous at the time for Duda, who missed nearly four months last season due to a stress fracture in his lower back. But the Mets' starting first baseman feels the episode is behind him, allowing him to shift his focus to the field.
"I haven't seen live pitching in quite some time, so it will take a little bit to get back," Duda said. "But I'm looking forward to it. I felt great and that's the most important thing."
The Mets renewed the contract of pitcher Noah Syndergaard on Friday, indicating that they unilaterally set his salary after the two sides were unable to agree to terms. Players such as Syndergaard, who are not yet arbitration-eligible, have no say in their salaries, which typically hover slightly above the league minimum. On rare occasions, such players refuse to agree to terms as a symbolic way to voice their displeasure, as Jacob deGrom did last spring.
All 20 of the Mets' other pre-arbitration-eligible players on the 40-man roster agreed to terms on new deals.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.