- Kieran Darcy, ESPNNewYork.com
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In his pregame news conference with reporters on Tuesday, Mets manager Terry Collins revealed that he seriously considered altering his starting rotation so that knuckleballer R.A. Dickey would start every fourth day, instead of every fifth day.
In fact, last month Collins sat down with pitching coach Dan Warthen and mapped out what that kind of schedule would look like, before ultimately deciding to scrap the idea -- at least for now.
"Maybe we were gonna try it for a month, to see if it’ll work," Collins said. "We just haven’t been brave enough to try it just yet, because I think it just screws up the other (four) guys."
Rest isn't quite as important for knuckleballers, who don't throw the ball as hard as traditional pitchers. But knuckleball or not, Collins is also concerned about wearing out the horse of his pitching staff.
"Theoretically he probably needs three days (of rest), but to keep him on pace with four days is gonna be great," Collins said. "Everything looks great now, (but) it’s June. Ask him how he felt last September -- he was tired.
"The one thing we aren’t gonna do is look up in August and have this guy worn out because we’re bringing him back on three days' rest."
SPINNING FORWARD: Twenty-four-year-old Jordany Valdespin is getting his second straight start on Tuesday -- Valdespin will bat second and play left field, after going 2-for-4 on Monday, including a triple and a double.
"He’s adding some spark, he’s adding some energy," said Collins. "The last few games he’s played, we’ve won, so I’m gonna run him in there again tonight."
Valdespin is hitting .200 on the season, with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 50 at-bats. He could be headed back to the minors though when infielders Ruben Tejada and Ronny Cedeno are ready to come off the disabled list in the next few days.
"We’ve got some guys coming back pretty soon," said Collins, "and I don’t know what moves are gonna be made to create spots for those guys."
BAY WATCH: Outfielder Jason Bay had another doctor's appointment on Tuesday and underwent another MRI, four days after suffering a concussion diving for a ball in left field.
Collins said the Mets were still awaiting the results of the latest MRI, and had no further information on Bay.
LOOKING AHEAD: You can expect shortstop Omar Quintanilla to get a day off on Wednesday, in the finale of this three-game series. Collins said he thinks Quintanilla looks a little tired.
Collins also mentioned that it's possible Justin Turner could play shortstop in Quintanilla's place on Wednesday. Turner was activated from the disabled list to replace Bay on the active roster, but hasn't been in a game since May 28 following a knee injury.