NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins was happy to pencil in Andres Torres at the top of his lineup on Friday, especially after the center fielder came a single short of the cycle with three RBIs on Thursday afternoon. And if Torres can keep up his recent pace -- he's batting .338 with a .434 on-base percentage since the All-Star break -- the Mets might have a pretty good one-two punch going forward.
Shortstop Ruben Tejada has been Collins' leadoff guy for most of the second half of the season, but the skipper has repeatedly said he thinks Tejada will thrive as a No.2 hitter, barring having a leadoff guy who can get on base.
But that option just hasn't been there for the Mets this season -- Torres has shown flashes of his ability to get on base from the leadoff spot, but nothing consistent enough to land him there on a daily basis. Tejada has been more than a viable option from the top of the order -- he's hitting .323 from the leadoff spot this season -- but if Torres can ride his recent success at the plate through this weekend, Collins said he'd be excited to see some production from the top two hitters in his order.
"I do think Ruben Tejada, eventually if he had that guy that could lead off, will be one of the really, really good No. 2 hitters in the game, because he can handle the bat, he works the count and he doesn't mind seeing strike one or strike two to let a guy run ahead of him," Collins said. "And he can still put the bat on the ball."
Collins had nothing but good things to say about Tejada's role as a leadoff hitter, but admitted that Torres' speed makes him an extra threat if he can get on base from the top spot in the lineup.
"[Tejada] has done a magnificent job in the leadoff spot. That discipline adds to getting on base, he's done it," Collins said. "I don't know that you necessarily need to be a basestealer as a leadoff guy, per se, I think getting on is good enough, but Andres fits that role pretty good when he's getting on base."
Entering Friday, Tejada was batting .312 (24-for-77) in the No. 2 spot this season.
Edgin could have busy weekend vs. Braves
NEW YORK -- Left-hander Josh Edgin certainly won't be bored this weekend against the lefty-heavy Atlanta Braves lineup.
Since fellow southpaw Tim Byrdak landed on the disabled list earlier this month with a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder -- he committed to season-ending surgery this week -- Edgin has become manager Terry Collins' top lefty option out of the bullpen. The Mets did promote left-hander Garrett Olson from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday, but there was just a two-point difference between left- and right-handed opponents' batting averages against him.
"This is why you have left-handers in your bullpen -- for this weekend. And they space them with those big hitters in the middle," Collins said. "You've got Chipper [Jones], who's really good right-handed. He protects them there. You've got [Dan] Uggla, who protects the bottom of the order, so you've got to pick your spots and your situations that you think are the most important to get one of those guys out."
Jones was scratched from Friday's game with a sore back, but Atlanta's notorious left-handed bats -- Michael Bourn, Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman -- are all usually protected by right-handers. The spacing will make it difficult for Collins to use Edgin only as a left-handed specialist this series, and the skipper said that he will call upon him to pitch through an entire inning.
"If he's going to be an impact lefty, he's going to have to be used," Collins said. "He's going to have to learn how to get through it, he's going to have to learn how to take care of himself between outings."
Collins added that Olson, despite the even numbers with Buffalo, will also be called upon to navigate through an entire inning even if two left-handers are due up.
"We brought Garrett here to help us for the same thing," Collins said. "He may not be a lefty specialist, but he's got to go out there and hopefully get one of those guys out if need be."
Mets to closely monitor Johan moving forward
NEW YORK -- Johan Santana will make his first start on Saturday since he landed on the disabled list on July 21, but manager Terry Collins has already started looking a little bit further ahead.
How Santana would fare in 2012 with a rebuilt shoulder was a mystery entering the season, and his offseason schedule proved it -- Santana began preparing for his comeback in December. But since throwing the first no-hitter in franchise history on June 1 against the Cardinals, Santana is 3-5 with a 6.54 ERA in eight starts.
"He spent a lot on that night, especially as it went deeper in the game," Collins said. "The adrenaline factor, certainly the energy rush that he got from the crowd. It takes a while to get out of it, and when you're in his shoes where we're trying to monitor the whole program that he's on already, I think it took a lot out of him."
Santana has repeatedly stressed that the no-hitter is well behind him and has not impacted his performances, but the statistics don't help his case. His recent stint on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle provided him with a good chunk of rest, but Collins said he will still closely monitor Santana to ensure he goes into the offseason healthy.
"I certainly think the rest helped him," Collins said. "They tell me the other day in Brooklyn, he hit 90 [mph]. He hadn't hit 90 in a while. I think the rest has been good for him, and hopefully going forward in the next six weeks, we'll see the Johan Santana that we saw in the first few weeks."
Santana did hit 90 on the gun in Sunday's rehab start with the Class A Cyclones, but his pitch count also hit 90. He tossed three shutout innings followed by three simulated innings in the bullpen to increase his total to 90 pitches -- a limit Collins said he will try to adhere to for the remainder of the season.
As far as the offseason is concerned, Collins said he thinks Santana will be able to begin throwing when pitchers and catchers report in February.
"It allows him to have a couple months to rest things up," Collins said. "And again, next summer we may have to shut it down for a little while just to get him a blow. But I certainly think going into next year, he'll be in much better shape."
Rob Johnson was behind the plate on Friday and said that his bruised right hand is no longer bothering him. Collins said that Johnson was never unable to catch, but that the injury bothered him when swinging the bat.
The Mets signed right-handed reliever Drew Carpenter to a Minor League deal on Friday and assigned him to Double-A Binghamton.
Carpenter made six relief appearances for the Blue Jays this season -- he gave up five earned runs in nine innings of work -- before he was designated for assignment on Aug. 4.
Adam Rosenbloom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.