Mets will give Lucas Duda a shot to run away with the starting first base job

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Lucas Duda and Ike Davis were supposed to compete for the Mets’ starting first base job during spring training, but both players were injured for most of the Grapefruit League schedule, so we entered the regular season without a resolution. However, the Mets appear ready to make a choice.

According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, Duda will start at first base Friday and will get a shot to run away with the job. Davis arguably has the greater long-term upside, but the Mets shopped him for most of the winter, which is perhaps of an indication of the front office’s preference.

This is a good time for the Mets to give Duda an extended look, as the club is expected to face all right-handed starters until at least next weekend in Los Angeles. Josh Satin still figures to get most of the at-bats at first base against southpaws regardless of whether the club eventually settles on Duda or Davis.

Duda, 28, entered today’s action with a .246/.341/.423 career batting line.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.