PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Lucas Duda, the most dangerous bat in the Mets' lineup, soon might be ready for action after a shutdown that has lasted nearly a month.
For the first time since suffering a strained right intercostal muscle, Duda took batting practice. On a back field before Monday's 13-2 Grapefruit League loss to the Marlins, Duda took about 40 swings with no issues.
"Everything feels great," said Duda, who remains on track to make his exhibition debut sometime this week.
Manager Terry Collins said Duda could see action during simulated games to prepare.
Though Duda feels as if he's fallen behind, the Mets believe he'll be ready for Opening Day.
"I've been tracking [pitches] and stuff," said Duda, who last season led the Mets in homers (30), RBIs (92) and OPS (.830). "But nothing really gets you ready for [facing] pitching like live pitching. Hopefully, in the next couple of days, I'll be good and I can start playing."
From the commish
First-year commissioner Rob Manfred already has made waves with some of his ideas to revive offense, including possibly outlawing defensive shifts.
But Manfred said Monday that any action won't come for a few more years as baseball determines whether the lull in offense is a persistent problem.
"We're not really at the remedy phase," said Manfred, who visited the Mets Monday during his tour of MLB camps.
Speaking of lagging offense, Manfred said the "ideal resolution" would be for hitters to adjust, which would negate the need for legislation.
Daniel Murphy was 0-for-2. He had been sidelined since Friday, when a pitch struck him on the right hand during his first at-bat of the Grapefruit League season . . . Brandon Nimmo remains day-to-day with a deep muscle bruise in his left hand.
The 2011 first-round draft pick has not played since Thursday, when he felt discomfort after repeatedly getting jammed by pitches.
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