- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Terry Collins doesn’t plan on contacting Tony La Russa and politicking for R.A. Dickey to start the All-Star Game in Kansas City on Tuesday.
“I have not talked to Tony, it’s his game (to manage),” Collins said. “I’m gonna stay out of it. If he asks me what I think of R.A., I can certainly offer my opinion.”
La Russa said earlier Thursday that he is considering Dickey as the NL’s starter, but added that there is concern about who is going to catch him. There are also several other deserving candidates, La Russa added.
“I read today what Tony had to say, and there’s some validity to it,” Collins said. “It’s not an easy pitch to catch. It’s gotta be the right combination.”
Collins said he thinks Dickey can pitch in any type of role, whether it be starting or coming out of the bullpen, which he’s done before.
“I’m certainly not gonna talk to Tony La Russa about strategy. He’s one of the best in the game, if not the best in the game,” Collins said.
Still, Collins thinks the best players should play in the All-Star Game.
“You walk that thin line,” Collins said. “The game means something now. I appreciate the fan votes, I think it’s great, but at the same token, this game means something, so the best players should be out there.”
Collins is glad Dickey is on the mound for the Mets against Phillies southpaw Cole Hamels on Thursday. It marks the first time this season that two double-digit winners will face one another.
“We need this game tonight, so we got our guy going and we’re pretty happy about it,” Collins said.
• Andres Torres was scratched from Collins’ original lineup with a bad back.
Collins said he is concerned about his center fielder. It is unknown if Torres will undergo further testing
“Any time it’s a back or a side, yes, I am concerned,” Collins said. “It was bothering him yesterday. He had some treatment on it and thought he could play with it, but when he woke up today it got worse. We’ll just see how he is after the game today and tomorrow.”
• Frank Francisco (DL, left oblique) will throw off a mound on Saturday and then have at least four rehab appearances, Collins said. Jason Bay will report to Port St. Lucie on Friday, Collins said.
• Kirk Nieuwenhuis (inflammation of a nerve in his hand) was inserted into the lineup because Torres couldn’t play. Nieuwenhuis said his hand feels better and he isn’t concerned about the injury. Nieuwenhuis took batting practice on Wednesday and came out of it fine. He took anti-inflammatories to ease the pain.
• Pedro Beato is glad to be back with the Mets. Collins said the Mets will use the right-handed reliever where they see fit. Beato said the 24 innings he threw at Triple-A Buffalo helped him build him arm strength, and he likes where his velocity is at.