The Mets opened the biggest series of the year thus far with both of their corner infielders — David Wright and Lucas Duda — sidelined with back ailments.
Third baseman Wright was scratched from the starting lineup about two hours before game time when his back acted up during batting practice. It is the first time this season that he was pulled from the lineup because of his spinal stenosis.
Wright and Collins were spotted having an animated conversation as they came off the field.
The Mets captain has tried to be mindful of his workload to prepare for games and has hoped to stay out of games on his days off. But he took extra batting practice Saturday and pinch hit Sunday before the team’s day off Monday.
First baseman Duda was also held out of the starting lineup after complaining of back discomfort. His issues began Sunday, the final day of the road trip. Duda might not play until Thursday.
Infielder Matt Reynolds made his big-league debut by starting at third. Earlier, he took the roster spot of pitcher Sean Gilmartin, who was optioned back to Triple-A Las Vegas. Eric Campbell replaced Duda at first.
“He’s pretty sore today,” Collins said of Duda. “He and I talked awhile ago and it’s just not worth the risk. With the weather the way it’s going to be tonight, it looks like it’s going to be damp and cool.”