Pagan hits 8th, Reyes 3rd soon?

Manager Jerry Manuel's lineup for Tuesday's series opener against the Colorado Rockies will include Angel Pagan batting eighth. Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo, who is returning after a three-day absence from the starting lineup because of calf trouble, will bat Nos. 1 and 2. With the Mets facing left-hander Greg Smith, Fernando Tatis is in the lineup over Mike Jacobs.

Regardless, Reyes may be moving to the No. 3 slot sooner than later. The Mets apparently plan to wait until he feels more like himself and knocks the rustiness off. Reyes was activated from the disabled list and returned to the lineup Saturday.

As for the starting pitching staff, the Mets plan to stick with a standard five-man rotation, meaning Oliver Perez pitches Friday in St. Louis and Johan Santana goes Saturday. Santana could have worked Friday on standard rest, but Perez's turn couldn't have been pushed back beyond Saturday anyway. To skip Perez, tonight's starter, John Maine, would be required to come back on short rest Saturday. And that's not a remote consideration.