Ruben Tejada finds himself batting second on Friday night for only the second time since July 1. But if Terry Collins had a bona fide leadoff hitter, No. 2 in the lineup is exactly where Tejada best fits, Terry Collins suggested.
New York Mets
Andres Torres instead leads off Friday.
“I think so. That’s just my opinion,” Collins said. “Certainly he has done a magnificent job in the leadoff spot. That discipline adds to getting on base. And I don’t know if you necessarily need to be a base stealer, per se, as a leadoff guy. I think getting on is good enough.
“But Andres fits that role pretty good when he’s getting on base. One of the reasons why we decided to lead him off tonight is we talked earlier this afternoon as a staff, and this guy since the All-Star break has a .430 on-base [percentage]. He’s hitting .350. While he’s hot, we might as well ride it for a while.”
Collins may very well restore Tejada to leadoff for the remainder of this series, though. The Mets are facing a left-handed starter, Paul Maholm, on Friday night. They face righties the next two days, as well as in all three games during the ensuing series in Cincinnati.
Torres is hitting .305 against lefties and .200 against righties this season.
“I’m not sure yet against the righties,” Collins said. “I just thought against the left-hander -- the way [Torres] has been going, the way he hits left-handers anyway -- that leading him off is a good spot. Because I do think Ruben Tejada eventually, if you have that guy who can lead off, will be one of the really, really good two-hitters in the game, because he can handle the bat. He does work the count. He doesn’t mind being strike one or strike two and letting a guy run ahead of him and still put the bat on the ball.”