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Thursday, April 26, 2012
Signs? What signs? Mets don't know them

By Mike Mazzeo

Mets manager Terry Collins was asked why he never puts on any hit and runs.

“That’s not necessarily true,” Collins replied Thursday morning. “We’ve missed a few signs.

“There’s a few secrets that aren’t out there yet. That’s why I’m not worried about the other team [stealing our signs], because we haven’t got them [down] yet.”

Collins said he’s changed the signs a couple times in order to simplify them. He said his team has missed two squeeze bunt signs and a few hit and runs.

The Mets aren’t a team that’s going to hit and run a lot, Collins said, because there’s not that many guys in the lineup that have been asked to do it. Also, the Mets lack team speed.

When Collins was playing in the minors with the Dodgers organization several years ago, the philosophy was that if you wanted to get a runner into scoring position, you should just bunt.

When executed properly, a hit and run can work wonders, opening up a hole and allowing a runner to go first to third.

But there’s also the possibility of the hitter swinging through the pitch and the runner -- who has to look in to see where the ball is being hit -- not getting a good jump and getting thrown out as a result; a line-drive turning into a double play; and a ball hit up the middle that turns into a double-play.

• All nine Mets players in Thursday’s lineup are homegrown. According to Elias, it’s the first time in 41 years and fourth time in franchise history that’s happened.

“That really is a great tribute to the scouts,” Collins said.

• Collins said doctors will hold a conference call on Thursday to determine the extent of Mike Pelfrey’s injury.

• Collins explained his decision to start Jordany Valdespin in left field, a position he’s never played in six years with the organization.

“When we started the transition in spring training to play [him] in the outfield, we made sure that he took fly balls pretty much each and every day,” Collins said. “I’m trying to get him in the lineup. We talked the other day about how maybe we’ve gotta get him in there somehow.

“It would’ve been easy to put him in center, but it’s pretty hard to take Kirk [Nieuwenhuis] out right now, so I just thought let’s let him play left field; he’s athletic enough to play out there. So we’ll see what happens.