NEW YORK -- One day, a Mets manager will pencil in Ike Davis at first base every game, regardless of who is pitching and without accounting for fatigue.

That day is not Friday, and that manager is not Jerry Manuel.

Manuel said the left-handed-hitting Davis will be the type of player that is in the lineup every day, against every matchup, later in his career. But in Davis' rookie year, Manuel believes the best way to get maximum production from his 23-year-old first baseman is to keep him fresh.

"As long as the season is for a young player like Ike, if you can give him a break here and there, then you get the most out of him," Manuel said.

Conventional wisdom would say Friday's starter Cole Hamels, a lefty, presents a good time to give Davis a blow, but Davis' stats suggest otherwise.

Davis is hitting .273 against lefties and .243 against righties this season. His OPS is 14 points lower against southpaws, but it would be a stretch to say he struggles to hit left-handed pitching.

Mike Hessman got the start in his place.

"I like to see Hessman, it gives him a chance to play," Manuel said. "He's played three or four days in a row, so you feel like now I can call on you for a good pinch-hit, and it keeps Ike fresh."

Mets to call on Misch for Saturday start

NEW YORK -- Mets manager Jerry Manuel announced earlier in the week that Hisanori Takahashi would not make Saturday's start, but he refused to commit to a replacement.

Before Friday's game against the Phillies, Manuel confirmed that Pat Misch, who is 11-4 with a 3.23 ERA for Triple-A Buffalo, will be called up to make the start.

Misch ascended to the Major League level last season, posting a 4.12 ERA in 59 innings, but he has spent all of 2010 down on the farm.

The 28-year-old lefty doesn't throw hard or strike out batters, which has helped keep him out of the Majors, according to Manuel.

"In all honesty, a lot of times, if you're left-handed and the left-handed hitters have a higher average against you than the right-handed hitters, and you're not a guy that let's say lights up the gun, you have to really be lights out with all the other parts of the game," Manuel said. "You're one of those guys that has to continue to prove that time in and time out, and I think that's what he's done -- he's proved that."

Dickey aims to ease burden on bullpen

NEW YORK -- The Mets' bullpen had already begun to slip into a depleted and unpredictable state before closer Francisco Rodriguez was suspended for two games after being arrested for third-degree assault Wednesday night.

Now, the closer's role is also undecided, as Jerry Manuel said that he would make the decision on which reliever to use in a save situation based on the inning's matchups, with Pedro Feliciano, Hisanori Takahashi, Manny Acosta and Bobby Parnell all named as options.

With the bullpen in such disarray, R.A. Dickey's spot in the rotation comes at a good time, as the knuckleballer is capable of throwing more pitches than a "normal" starter and has pitched at least six innings in 13 of his 16 starts. Manuel said he will not leave Dickey on the mound longer simply to cover for the bullpen.

"If he struggles, I don't think I'll leave him out there," Manuel said. "If he's pitching well, I'll continue to rely on him to let me know when he's done and he's not done."

Dickey was done after just three innings against the Phillies in his last start, easily his shortest outing of the season.

Philadelphia tagged him for six runs, four of them earned, a sharp contrast to Dickey's only other start against the Phillies this season, in which he tossed six shutout innings.

Minaya doesn't regret Rodriguez signing

NEW YORK -- When Omar Minaya signed Francisco Rodriguez before the 2009 season, it seemed like a no-brainer.

The bullpen was the Mets' weakness, and Rodriguez had just saved a Major League-record 62 games, capping a run of 194 saves over four seasons for the Angels.

Rodriguez posted a 3.71 ERA in his first season in New York, and now he is serving a two-game suspension after being arrested for third-degree assault Wednesday night.

Minaya, however, does not regret signing him.

"We don't condone that, and we don't think that's right, but as far as regretting it, any player can make a mistake," Minaya said. "Whenever you bring in players, you have to understand sometimes players are going to make mistakes."