NEW YORK -- Terry Collins said the motivation for batting Daniel Murphy cleanup on Sunday for the first time this season was getting Jordany Valdespin into the lineup ... and into the No. 2 hole mostly occupied by Murphy.
New York Mets
Collins pledged more playing time for Valdespin "as we move down the line here."
Said the manager: "As we said in spring training: The one place he kind of fits is if we can get him to understand what it is to be a leadoff hitter. So I wanted to hit him at the top of the lineup. Q [Omar Quintanilla] has done a good job in the leadoff spot. So I thought to put Valdy in the position where he's got to start learning how to handle the bat a little bit. Learning how to pull. He likes to bunt. Maybe there's a situation with a runner on, he can bunt somebody over. So I just want him at the top of the order."
Sure enough, Valdespin bunted for a base hit in the first inning Sunday. Of course, he then was thrown out attempting to steal third with the cleanup hitter Murphy at the plate for the final out of the inning.