Mets Notebook: Collins continues tinkering with lineup

Terry Collins moved Marlon Byrd into the cleanup spot. Credit: Getty Images
Terry Collins moved Marlon Byrd into the cleanup spot.
Credit: Getty Images

As he has throughout the season, Mets manager Terry Collins reiterated before Sunday’s matinee against the Cubs that his thinking in creating lineups is to have players on base when, or if, the middle of the lineup begins hitting.

“We’re trying to get some guys on, in case somebody gets hot,” Collins said. “To where there are guys on base.”

Right fielder Marlon Byrd hit cleanup in the series finale. He entered the game second on the team in home runs with 10, one behind Lucas Duda and John Buck. Even though Byrd has a .253 batting average, he has an on-base percentage of .311.

“We look at a lot of things,” Collins said. “No. 1, we look at, we’re looking at on-base [percentage]. That’s why I moved Marlon to where he’s hitting. He’s been driving in some runs for us. He’s been hitting some home runs; his on-base is good.”

The Mets’ .209 team batting average in June is the NL’s worst and ranks 29th out of the 30 MLB franchises. Only the moribound Astros are worse with a .204 average. The Mets entered yesterday’s game tied with the Rangers for the fewest runs scored this month, with 37 each.

“For the most part, each and every day, you think, ‘This is the day we’re going to break out of this,’” Collins said. “It starts with those guys in the middle. That’s where the run production comes.”

The roster juggling is not limited to position players, as Carlos Torres was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas following Saturday’s 5-2 loss. Right-handed reliever Greg Burke was optioned to Las Vegas and reliever Collin McHugh was designated for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster in the corresponding moves.

Torres had a 6-3 record and a 3.89 ERA in 12 starts with Las Vegas.

“Lately he’s been outstanding,” Collins said of Torres, who arrived as the Mets were on the field stretching. “Two complete games and when you do that, pitching in Las Vegas, that says a lot. He’s been pitching very, very well. I talked to [Triple-A manager] Wally [Backman] the other day and he said that [Torres] would be the one guy he would recommend if we needed help.

“We decided to give him a shot.”

Meet the future

The Mets begin an 11-day, 11-game road trip Monday in Atlanta. Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.84 ERA) is the scheduled starter. Matt Harvey (5-1, 2.04 ERA) and Zack Wheeler will start Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader. Wheeler, who will start the second game and is the team’s top pitching prospect, is making his major-league debut. He will meet reporters Monday afternoon at Turner Field. Wheeler is a native of Smyrna, Ga. — about 10 miles northwest of Atlanta.

Shaun Marcum (0-8, 5.43 ERA) and Jonathon Niese (3-6, 4.15 ERA) will start the final two games of the series.

Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Local

VIDEO: Cop reassigned as NYPD investigates alleged head…

An officer alleged to have stomped on a Brooklyn man's head last week had his gun taken away and placed on modified duty.

National

New York Times calls for legalization of pot

The New York Times editorial board on Saturday endorsed a repeal of the federal ban on marijuana, becoming the largest paper in the nation to back the idea.

National

Two injured after cable snaps on Ohio amusement…

(Reuters) - A cable on a large swing ride at an Ohio amusement park snapped and struck two riders as the swing was in motion,…

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

Arts

James Earl Jones and Rose Byrne head to…

Two-time Tony winner James Earl Jones returns to the New York stage next month as an eccentric grandfather in a revival of the 1930s comedy…

Movies

Box office: Scarlett Johansson wins battle of brains…

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" handily dispatched with Dwayne Johnson's "Hercules" over the weekend.

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Auto racing

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Jeff Gordon captures fifth title at Brickyard 400

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…

Career

Feeling stuck? Get out of the entry-level job…

Television and movies may be littered with 20-something characters who seem directionless when it comes to their careers, but author Mary Traina says she finds…