Lucas Duda making strides with his new swing

Lucas Duda of the Mets looks on during

Lucas Duda of the Mets looks on during batting practice prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Tradition Field. (Feb. 27, 2013) (Credit: Getty Images)

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- After two days of extensive work on his revamped swing, Lucas Duda showed traces of progress.

In the Mets' 12-4 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday, the Mets' leftfielder grounded a single up the middle, his first hit of the Grapefruit League season. He entered 0-for-7 with six strikeouts in his first two preseason games.

"He's made big strides," manager Terry Collins said of Duda, 1-for-3 with a strikeout. "He said he's felt a lot better. He'll stay back [last night] and do extra work again, so I think we're moving forward. I think Lucas is starting to get a beat on what he's got to do."

 

Murphy progressing

Daniel Murphy (strained right intercostal muscle) likely won't be ready for another seven to 10 days, Collins said, though the second baseman has reported improvement.

"Certainly, we're looking forward to getting him out here pretty soon and starting the process of the dry swings followed by the tee followed by the soft toss," Collins said.

Murphy was recently cleared to do some stretching and footwork drills in the batting cage, though he is still not allowed to take swings.

"It has worked out that there's a little more time [because of the WBC]," Murphy said. "I want to be smart about it, but there's still a season to prepare for."

 

David vs. Justin

David Wright will leave for the WBC on Saturday morning. He's scheduled to be the designated hitter Friday against Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

 

Francisco plays catch

Frank Francisco (right elbow inflammation) played catch for the second time since being cleared to resume throwing. He threw on flat ground from 75 feet with bullpen coach Ricky Bones.

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