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Saturday, May 17, 2014
Tejada starter, Flo still reserve for TC

By Adam Rubin

WASHINGTON -- After six straight starts by Ruben Tejada, Wilmer Flores gets the nod at shortstop for Saturday's game against the Washington Nationals.

That is not a signal Flores is about to get the bulk of the starts at shortstop, however, according to Terry Collins.

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"Ruben has had some very, very good at-bats," Collins said Saturday afternoon. "Just because the results aren't necessarily hits, he's still swung the bat very well lately, and worked the count and got on base and done the things we want him to do. And he's played outstanding defensively. He's getting to be the guy we know."

So where does that leave Flores, who has appeared in only two games -- May 9 and 10 starts -- since his promotion nine days ago? Will he be returned to the minors soon if he will not be the regular at shortstop, which had been the initial expectation?

"That's a decision Sandy [Alderson]'s got to determine," Collins said.

Collins said Flores can still be useful. Daniel Murphy should get a day off soon, potentially the next time the Mets face a left-handed starter. And Flores would start at second base that day.

"He still has a good purpose here," Collins said.

Murphy and David Wright both, actually, are due for days off soon. Wright has started all 41 games this season.

"I talked to David even before the Yankees series and said, 'Hey, we've got Monday off, so we'll get through the weekend. But starting on Tuesday, we've got 20 in a row. In that period, you've got to have a day,'" Collins said. "We're going to sit down and take a look at what we think might project out to be a day for him and for Murph."

Collins does not believe any recent struggles by Wright -- in the field or at the plate -- are the result of fatigue.

"Those kind of guys, they work their way out," Collins said. "If he said, 'Hey, look, I'm out of gas,' that's one thing. I just asked him this morning, 'How are you doing?' He said, 'I'm fine. I feel great.' So that's not the issue right now. I just know when you're playing so many days in a row, a day [off] here and there won't hurt him."