den Dekker leadoff Monday ... Kirk beyond?

PHILADELPHIA -- Terry Collins isn't quite sure who is leadoff hitter will be during Juan Lagares' time on the disabled list for a rib-cage strain.

But Matt den Dekker is getting the shot Monday night. And Collins indicated he may let the center fielder have a few games there to see if he runs with the role.

lastname Nieuwenhuis

lastname den Dekker Otherwise, Collins said, he really does not have a clear choice. In fact, one option might not even be here for a few days.

As a result of playing three straight extra-inning games -- with 12 extra innings in total during the weekend -- the Mets are playing with an extra relief arm and down a bench player.

The Mets figure that even if they have a normal game on Monday night -- say, Bartolo Colon tosses seven innings in a nine-inning game -- they probably would not readjust the roster to add a position player and drop a bullpen arm until Wednesday to be safe. Ultimately, Kirk Nieuwenhuis would have to be a consideration for a promotion at that point.

Nieuwenhuis does have leadoff experience with the Mets. He has 31 career starts there, with with a .258 average, five homers, 16 RBIs and a .300 on-base percentage in 132 at-bats in the role.

Nieuwenhuis is hitting .273 with seven homers, 22 RBIs and a .319 on-base percentage in 141 plate appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas this season.

Eric Young Jr. is not eligible to return from the disabled list until next Tuesday.