07/18/11 2:53 PM ET
Harris fills in while Beltran battles illness
By Matt Fortuna and Aaron Taube / MLB.com
Manager Terry Collins has opted for Willie Harris to take Beltran's place in right field and his spot as the third hitter in the Mets' lineup for Sunday's rubber game. Collins said he made the decision due to Harris' track record of success against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick.
For his career, Harris is 5-for-16 against Kendrick, with a triple, two home runs, four RBIs, a walk and two strikeouts. On Saturday, the Mets started Scott Hairston in Beltran's place due to his past success against Cole Hamels, and Hairston responded by tallying a career-high five RBIs. He went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a home run.
Collins said he spoke with trainer Ray Ramirez on Saturday night, and that Ramirez had told him Beltran was beginning to feel better.
Reyes plays in game, could be back Tuesday
NEW YORK -- Jose Reyes played a Minor League rehab game Monday with Class A Brooklyn, with a return trip to the Mets likely coming Tuesday.
"I anticipate one game," Mets manager Terry Collins said after his team's 8-5 loss Sunday to the Phillies. "Hopefully he'll come out of it feeling good."
Reyes, who is eligible to come off the disabled list, went 1-for-3 with a double and scored a run in an afternoon game against Lowell.
He ran the bases at full speed before Sunday's game, with media members, Collins, general manager Sandy Alderson, agent Peter Greenberg, trainer Ray Ramirez and physical therapist John Zajac watching closely. He later hit.
"I feel very good," Reyes said after running. "I'm happy that I don't feel anything in my leg, so I was able to test it out with no problems, so that's a good sign."
Reyes said he felt better than he did before suffering a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring, which occurred on a first-inning infield single during a July 2 game against the Yankees. He has been on the DL since July 3.
Asked Sunday what he would do if he hit a ball into the gap upon his return, Reyes immediately said, "Triple."
The 28-year-old shortstop leads the Majors in triples (15) as well as hitting (.354). He is also second in hits (124) and steals (30).
The Mets have gone 6-5 without Reyes and on Monday will host the Marlins in a makeup of a May 17 contest that was postponed because of rain. They begin a three-game series against the Cardinals on Tuesday, when Reyes is expected back.
Mets may give some of Bay's at-bats to Hairston
NEW YORK -- During Sunday's loss to the Phillies, the Mets' Jason Bay went 0-for-4 with a walk, left five runners on base, dropped a fly ball and was booed by the fans at Citi Field.
Manager Terry Collins implied after the game that the struggling $66-million man could lose some of his playing time to the streaking Scott Hairston.
"When you saw Jason last week swing the bat, you thought he was coming around, you thought he was going to start carrying you like he's capable of doing," Collins said when asked whether he might start giving some of Bay's at-bats to Hairston. "I'm going to talk with him tomorrow and see how he's doing, see where's at. Scott Hairston's swinging the bat very, very well. The other thing, we've got to get Carlos [Beltran] back in the lineup. That might counteract some things."
Bay caught fire and seemed to be working his way out of a season-long slump during a road trip at the end of June, but he is batting just .091 in his past six games, with a .256 on-base percentage. By contrast, Hairston is batting .500, with a .500 on-base percentage in limited playing time over that stretch.
Hairston has had less than a quarter of Bay's plate appearances this season, but coming into Sunday, his on-base percentage was marginally better (.333 to Bay's .324) and his slugging percentage was far superior (.517 to Bay's .335).
Despite Hairston's strong play of late, Bay says he's not worrying about how he stacks up against his teammates.
"It's not my job," Bay said. "I show up -- if I'm in the lineup, I'm in the lineup. If I'm not, that's not my decision to make. I kind of felt like before the break started, things started going well. Obviously I haven't carried that momentum, but I'm still going out there trying to get that momentum that I had."
Bay said that his success before the break gives him encouragement that he is making progress at the plate, even if that progress isn't showing up in the box score. He added that it's important for him not to get caught up in what is being said about him so he can focus on his performance.
"Imagine how frustrated the fans are -- you think that I enjoy it?" Bay said. "... I'm more frustrated than anybody. But I've got to come back and do it every single day, and I can't get too caught up in the frustration."
Regardless of what Collins decides, Hairston echoed Bay in saying it is best for himself and the team to stay focused on the task at hand.
"I have a role, and that's coming off the bench right now," Hairston said. "I'm just trying to do the best that I can in that situation. It's not going to help thinking, 'Oh, I should be playing more.' I think I'm so into the role that I am in now that I'm really not thinking about anything outside of that."
Tejada pairs with Mets coach on glove work
NEW YORK -- Mets third-base coach Chip Hale is working with shortstop Ruben Tejada to cut down on fielding errors. Though he's known for his glove more than his bat, Tejada made two miscues Saturday and one Friday.
Manager Terry Collins said that Tejada approached the ball correctly on his two fielding errors Saturday, but he needs to angle his glove better to allow him to throw the ball to the correct base more easily.
"When you're making that turn, when you're making that little arc to go to first base -- he's got his hand in a tough fielding position," Collins said. "Chip's going to take care of that."
Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Aaron Taube is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.