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Saturday, July 20, 2013
Collins explains Satin starting over Ike

By Matt Ehalt

NEW YORK -- Josh Satin will start Saturday against Philadelphia lefty Cole Hamels, and manager Terry Collins all but said Satin will be back in the lineup Sunday against southpaw Cliff Lee.

Ike Davis will be on the bench, as the team continues to utilize a platoon. Satin will now have started over Davis in each of the Mets' three games against lefties since Davis returned to the big leagues on July 5.

"Josh Satin, I just looked up some numbers this morning, he's hitting .450 against left-handed pitching. He's going to play against left-handed pitching," Collins said. "Starting Monday we've got three right-handers coming up with the Braves, (I'll) get Ike back out there. [Satin] has earned a chance to play against lefties. So we're going to play him."

Davis has been awful against left-handers this year, hitting .158 with one homer and four RBIs and slugging just .228.

Satin, meanwhile, has crushed lefties, with a .448 batting average and a 1.233 OPS. Since Davis returned to the Mets, Satin has hit .364 in 11 at-bats, while Davis is batting .233 (7-for-30).

"Certainly (in) Ike's case you'd like to get him out there every day to see what he can do. The testing ground was the first half," Collins said. "We came out of the first half playing very well. One of the things we did in the last couple of weeks in the first half -- Josh Satin did a tremendous job for us. I think it's somewhat unfair to Josh Satin and he would understand it.

"Hey, look, this guy killed left-handed pitching. He's got two positions he can play, first and third. I'm not going to take the third baseman out just yet."

Davis should be back in the lineup Monday when the Mets begin a four-game series against the Braves. Atlanta will throw righties Julio Teheran, Kris Medlen and Tim Hudson before lefty Paul Maholm starts Thursday's series finale. Davis hasn't hit righties well either, although his .176 average is better than his average against lefties.

"Ike's going to have to continue to work and work hard. Today he may get a pinch-hit, he may get in the game, he may get two or three at-bats like what happened yesterday with other guys," Collins said. "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, here's your chance to step up and show everybody you are the first baseman."

BUCK BACK SUNDAY: Collins reiterated that he plans to start John Buck on Sunday in the series finale, which would allow Buck to catch Matt Harvey. Buck suffered a cramp Friday and is out of the lineup Saturday.