By Ed Coleman
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The rain continued to pour down Tuesday afternoon in Philadelphia. The tarp was on the field, so there was plenty of time to check in on old/new Phillie — and former Met — Marlon Byrd.
Byrd was one of the more pleasant stories of a disappointing 2013. Brought to spring training by the Mets as an afterthought, Byrd forged his way into the starting lineup, put up more than respectable numbers and eventually garnered the Mets two possible young pieces — reliever Vic Black and infielder Dilson Herrera — when traded to the Pirates along with catcher John Buck in late August.
The real reason for catching up with Byrd was to ask about Lucas Duda, a player Byrd became close with and worked with extensively. Many people, myself included, felt that Ike Davis should have been the first-baseman choice for the Mets. Byrd, on the other hand, believes in Duda.
During the offseason in California, Byrd, Duda and other current and former Mets got together often to work out and work on their hitting.
As for Duda, Byrd was a go-to guy for him when they were both Mets.
And Duda was asked why that was.
Yes, short answers are the norm for Duda, so I then asked why he enjoyed working with Byrd.
Despite an impressive start, skepticism still abounds concerning general manager Sandy Alderson’s proclamation of 90 wins for the Mets, but Byrd is not a doubter.
During the offseason, Byrd contemplated re-signing with the Mets or Pirates, but it was a no-brainer when the Phillies came calling.
And in coming back to Philadelphia, Byrd had now traveled full circle, something which felt right to him.
Byrd signed a lucrative (some thought exorbitant) two-year deal with Philly, and is grateful to the Mets for giving him the opportunity to land it.
Manager Terry Collins discussed his outfield plan when rehabbing Juan Lagares rejoins the team on Thursday in Colorado.
Basically, it’s four players into three spots, with each player rotating days off until something more definitive crystallizes. For example, the Mets are tentatively scheduled to face a righty, then two lefties, then another righty in the four-game series against the Rockies.
So Chris Young might sit the first night, followed by Curtis Granderson and Eric Young, Jr. sitting against the two lefties, and Lagares taking a blow on Sunday.
It’s tough juggling for Collins, and we’ll see how acrobatic he becomes. Stay tuned.
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