Saturday, May 19, 2012
Wright still ill; 'Spin second try
By Adam Rubin
David Wright, who has a scheduled day off Saturday with the Mets in a 20-games-in-20-day stretch, actually is feeling sicker Saturday than the previous day. Terry Collins said the illness could keep Wright out of Sunday's lineup.
One thing is clear, though: Wright does not like DH'ing because it takes him out of the rhythm at the plate. So Collins said Wright will man third base if he's able to play in the series finale. Wright is available to pinch hit, the manager said.
• The Mets will restore the bench to five position players before Monday's game in Pittsburgh, when the DH is no longer in effect.
Collins said right-hander Jeremy Hefner, who joined the Mets on Saturday in place of Jordany Valdespin, will not necessarily make a U-turn to Buffalo at that point. That suggests there may be at least some consideration about whether Manny Acosta still merits a roster spot. Acosta's ERA swelled to 10.53 on Friday.
"We'll have a decision to make at that point," Collins said in response to an inquiry about whether Hefner returns to Triple-A after the weekend. Hefner had returned to the Bisons immediately after tossing three scoreless innings in his major league debut against the San Francisco Giants last month.
Valdespin is 2-for-20, albeit with a dramatic pinch-hit, three-run homer against Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, at the major league level. A natural infielder, he mostly had played center field in minor league games this season. Now, though, Valdespin is due to focus on second-base work at Buffalo. That position is open with the Bisons with Bobby Scales having bolted for Japan.
Collins does not see Valdespin as a major league shortstop. That's largely because he has not worked enough in the minors at that position, according to the manager.
If the Mets needed a bona fide shortstop in the future, Collins said, the best Triple-A choice would be ex-Rockie/Ranger Omar Quintanilla. Still, the manager added, Quintanilla is not on the 40-man roster. And the Mets would not necessarily risk losing a minor leaguer through waivers a open 40-man roster spot for Quintanilla.
• Ruben Tejada could be back by the end of Memorial Day weekend. Tejada (strained quadriceps) is due to run in a straight line today and could be in minor league rehab games by Monday. Jason Bay (fractured rib) will hit off a tee today and swing at soft-toss flips Sunday. On Monday in Pittsburgh, the Mets will request permission from team doctors for Bay to begin taking at least light batting practice. Collins expects Tejada to return before Bay.
• Three umpires disappeared between innings early in Friday's game, delaying Jon Niese beginning an inning. There was good reason: Their uniforms and work gear had finally arrived. There are extra umpire uniforms at each major league stadium, but ump Wally Bell had to borrow black cleats from the Mets.
• Daniel Murphy, despite a .331 average, is homerless. Collins says he probably doesn't see Murphy producing more than a dozen homers in any season, saying his swing is geared for line drives.