“We made the commitment to play him there,” Collins said about Duda playing only first base. “I think putting him back in left field will take away a little bit of that positive glow that he’s got going right now.”
Duda did move over to left field to complete Monday’s game, but it couldn’t be helped due to the circumstances.
While Collins has been beating his “Duda in the outfield” drum for nearly all of the last three months, his reason for flip-flopping on the issue has nothing to do with a realization of just how awful an idea that would be.
Instead, Collins says that he doesn’t want to interrupt the strides he’s made offensively since being named the everyday starter at first base.
Duda, 28, has been red-hot and is batting .364/.417/.500 in his last 23 plate appearances. On Monday night he went 4-5 with two RBI, tying his career-high with the four hits. Overall, he is batting .275 with three home runs and eight RBIs this season with an .841 OPS.
With Granderson expected back in a day or two, Kirk Nieuwenhuis already here, and Chris Young coming on Friday, there’s absolutely no reason for Duda to play in the outfield regardless. And believe me—that’s a good thing.