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Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Mets morning briefing 5.18.11

By Adam Rubin

The Mets had won three straight series before dropping Monday's game to the Marlins, 2-1, in 11 innings, then having Tuesday's game rained out.

Read the series preview for the Mets-Nationals two-game series here.

Tuesday's rainout will be made up on July 18 at 7:10 p.m.

Wednesday's news reports:

David Wright landed on the DL. Justin Turner shifts to third base, with Ruben Tejada manning second. Nick Evans will be a bat off the bench, with occasional starts against left-handed pitching at first base in place of Daniel Murphy. Read more in Newsday, the Star-LedgerPost, Times and Daily News.

Pedro Beato returned from the disabled list.

• Newsday's David Lennon says Jason Bay is starting to get the Luis Castillo treatment at Citi Field. Writes Lennon:

It's getting ugly. Bay exhaled a sigh of relief after homering in his third game this season -- which wasn't until April 23 because of a strained rib-cage muscle -- but that was only a temporary reprieve. In the 18 games since then, Bay is .197/.312/.258 with one homer and three RBI. That's a small sample size. But perhaps a better indication of where he's at is what happened in the 10th inning Monday. Bay, hitting fourth, actually laid down a sacrifice bunt to get  Beltran to second base. It was his first sacrifice bunt since 2004 -- that's not something usually done by 38-homer guys -- and, truth be told, it was a good bunt. This is not to argue with the strategy. We just mentioned that he's hitting .197 (13-for-66) and I don't blame Terry Collins, who probably figured he couldn't get much more out of Bay in that at-bat.

• If Jose Reyes does depart via trade, or via free agency at the end of the season, Tejada very likely emerges as the shortstop. Writes the Post's Kevin Kernan about Tejada:

[Terry] Collins sees nothing but success for Tejada, who played in 78 games for the Mets last season after being forced into major league action because of injuries to Reyes. In 216 at-bats, Tejada hit just .213 but showed flashes of success. He’s only 21. “He has a very good two-strike approach, one of the things I saw in Buffalo last year was his handling of the bat, deep into a count where he’ll take balls the other way,” Collins said. “He’s dangerous enough, he’s got just enough power that early in the count, if you give him a ball that he can drive, he’ll drive it and he’ll hit a homer. I think the future and the ceiling for this guy offensively is pretty high.”

Josh Thole shut down his Twitter account because certain fans made it not fun with heckling. Logan Morrison (@LoMoMarlins) has vibrant banter with fans on Twitter and does not care about any negativity. The Marlins' outfielder tells the Daily News' Anthony McCarron: "I like interacting with the fans. It's all part of it. I know they're going to say stupid stuff, like heckling, basically, and that happens on the field, too. At the end of the day, I'm the one out there playing and they're jealous, so I don't really care."

Fred Wilpon will be the subject of a feature in New York Magazine, according to the Post. He posed for a photo in the dugout with players.

Carlos Beltran will be an attractive trade chip because he has managed to stay on the field and produce. Writes Steve Popper in the Record:

He missed a game Saturday because he woke up with conjunctivitis, but he was back in the lineup a day later. Only Jose Reyes has played more games (41) than Beltran (39) this year -- a fittingly ironic statistic since both have been plagued by injuries over the last two years. Their productive performances have made them the Mets’ most likely trading chips. Beltran entered the year as if he would just run out his final year in New York. Two bad knees, an $18 million payout due this year and a clause in his contract that prohibits arbitration -- meaning no draft picks in return for using Beltran as a rental -- made him untradeable. That was until he played and produced.

On his blog, Popper lists the Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics and Giants as potential landing spots for Beltran.

BIRTHDAY: Nelson Figueroa turns 37. Figeuroa, a Brooklyn native, won six games for the Mets, whom he grew up following, in 2008 and 2009. Figueroa’s time with the Mets helped resurrect his major league career. Prior to pitching in Flushing, he hadn’t pitched in the major leagues since 2004. Figueroa began the season in the Astros rotation, but accepted an assignment to Triple-A last week. -Mark Simon