Manager Jerry Manuel had warned that while he was likely to keep Mike Jacobs in the cleanup spot against right-handed pitching, between David Wright and Jason Bay, the plan was subject to review.
Well, it’s been reviewed and revised.
Manuel has a 3-4-5 of Wright-Bay-Jacobs on Friday night, for the series opener against the Washington Nationals. The manager reasoned that with Angel Pagan in the leadoff spot and Gary Matthews Jr. on the bench, he could not do the righty-lefty-righty-lefty configuration he had done in the season’s first two games, when Matthews hit sixth, directly behind Bay.
“And, also, I just like to see Jason there every now and then in that four spot,” Manuel said.
BABYING CALF: As expected, Luis Castillo is out of Friday’s lineup after feeling a pull in his right calf. “He’s still available if we need to, but I’m going to try to give him the day off and see how his calf responds after today,” Manuel said. There’s an “outside possibility” Castillo could land on the DL, sparing Ruben Tejada a demotion with Jose Reyes due to be activated. The Mets are amply covered at second base even with Castillo day-to-day. Alex Cora started there Friday night, and Fernando Tatis and Frank Catalanotto also can play the position.
ON THE MEND: While Carlos Beltran (knee) is making progress, a team official said he won’t begin running in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Saturday -- the date Beltran had targeted as a potential starting point for that activity. Still, as a source told ESPNNewYork on Thursday, Beltran is expected to begin running any day. … First baseman Daniel Murphy (right knee sprain) is playing catch and getting therapy.
CATCHING ON: Henry Blanco is expected to get his first start as a Met on Saturday after four straight starts at catcher by Rod Barajas.