05/02/09 6:32 PM ET
Delgado not in lineup, but pinch-hits
Nursing hip ailment, Mets slugger takes batting practice
By Marty Noble / MLB.com
The right hip injury Delgado suffered in a slide into third base Sunday would cause the Mets' first baseman to be absent from the starting lineup for the fifth straight game and prompt manager Jerry Manuel to use his alternative lineup: Jose Reyes, Luis Castillo, Carlos Beltran, Gary Sheffield, David Wright, Fernando Tatis, Daniel Murphy, Ramon Castro and Oliver Perez.
Delgado took batting practice, something he hadn't done since the injury, and was unsure whether he would play. Delgado moved to first base to take ground balls and while he was there, Manuel decided for him. The manager had said the decision would be left to Delgado, that whether the first baseman would play was an issue of how much pain he could tolerate.
Delgado, who pinch-hit in the eighth inning Saturday and drew a walk, appeared to have no problem in the batting cage, and the decision was made before he did much at first base.
"He said he feels much better than he did [Friday]," general manager Omar Minaya said.
Delgado might not have been conspicuous by his absence to some Saturday, he undoubtedly was to Phillies starting pitcher Jamie Moyer, though. Delgado has a .383 average and eight home runs in 81 career at-bats against the left-handed veteran. Delgado was listed to the bat fifth -- a first this season -- in the lineup not used. David Wright was listed as the cleanup hitter in that batting order.
Castillo returned to the lineup for the first time since Monday, his back spasms no longer an issue. And Castro caught for the second time in seven games.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.