Pregame notes: Ike dropped down

August, 2, 2013
8/02/13
7:27
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Ike Davis has been dropped in the order -- again.

The struggling first baseman will hit seventh on Friday against the Royals after hitting cleanup or fifth in each game he's started since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on July 5.

Daniel Murphy will hit fifth, while Juan Lagares moves up to No. 2.

"What Ike's been saying is true. He looks better, he's taking pitches but he's not driving in runs and I respect the fact that he's working on some things, he's trying to see pitches longer, he's trying to get a better ball to hit," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Right now we need to drive in some runs and Murph's swinging good. I always thought no matter what if it was a different situation where Ike was out, Dan Murphy's a perfect guy to hit down in that spot. He's a guy that puts the ball in play, uses the field to hit."

Davis has hit just .224 with one homer and nine RBIs since being recalled, showing slight improvement but still leaving the team yearning for more. In Thursday's 3-0 loss to Miami, Davis left five men on base in the first two innings as the Mets squandered golden opportunities.

Davis has hit seventh in the order 13 times this season as he's failed to maintain a hold on one of the premier spots in the middle of the lineup. Before being demoted in June, Davis was given a week to see if he could reclaim the cleanup spot, but he didn't do much with the chance.

With Davis batting seventh, and Murphy hitting fifth, Collins liked the way the middle portion of his lineup filled out.

"The way it is we got four guys over 50 RBIs," Collins said. "I kind of liked the way that looked."

In moving up Lagares, Collins complimented the youngster for his recent efforts.

"As I said the other day, right now he’s one of our better hitters. Especially the last two weeks. So we’re sitting there today, we're trying to figure out a way to score some runs, we said 'we've got to get this guy in the mix somewhere.' So we put him at the top of the order," Collins said. "His foot speed kind of goes there, but again, I don't want to add too much on him. He's doing just great and I want him to continue to do great."

NIESE UPDATE: Jon Niese (shoulder) will come to New York on Saturday and will likely throw a bullpen. His next rehab assignment will be in the area, according to Collins, likely with Single-A Brooklyn or Double-A Binghamton.

Niese threw four scoreless innings in a rehab start with Single-A St. Lucie on Thursday, and will need at least one more rehab start as he returns from a partial tear of his left rotator cuff.

BABY WATCH: As of approximately 3:30 p.m., Buck said his wife had not yet given birth. Buck's wife was due on Thursday.

Matt Ehalt

ESPN New York contributor

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187