04/10/12 12:49 AM ET
Mets aim to avoid flareups with Francisco's knee
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
Problem is, Francisco still feels some inflammation in his knee from time to time -- not quite enough to keep him out of multiple games in a row, but still enough to give the Mets pause.
"You've got to be careful," manager Terry Collins said. "Frankie's a big strong guy, but the knee is an issue. I don't want that to flare up to where we miss him for a week."
Should Francisco be unable to go at any point this summer, setup man Jon Rauch would be the logical candidate to pitch the ninth inning. But Collins said Monday that he would also consider 41-year-old Miguel Batista, who closed regularly in winter ball over the offseason and with the Blue Jays in 2005.
"He's done it," Collins said. "He's been there. He's been in those situations. You don't pitch for  Major League seasons without being put in some tough situations. If there's one guy down there that we know can deal with it, it's Miguel."
Homegrown lineup source of pride for Mets
NEW YORK -- Before becoming Mets manager prior to the 2011 season, Terry Collins served one year as the organization's field coordinator -- a sort of Minor League supervisor. Among the players under his custody for parts of that summer were Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Ruben Tejada, Daniel Murphy, Josh Thole and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Those six took the field Monday alongside third baseman David Wright and pitcher Mike Pelfrey, marking the first time in nearly 22 years the Mets have fielded a starting lineup with eight homegrown players. The only exception was left fielder Jason Bay, who actually spent a brief portion of his Minor League career in the organization.
"The Mets should be pretty proud of this lineup tonight," Collins said.
Other than Wright, Pelfrey and Davis, none of that bunch ever garnered significant attention in the Minors as future stars. And yet the Mets, who boast two other homegrown starting pitchers and one homegrown reliever on the roster, managed to cull nearly an entire starting lineup from their farm.
"I think it's a tribute to the scouting system, the player development system, to get homegrown players to the big leagues," Collins said. "I think it's really quite a tribute to the organization."
Not counting September and October games that allow for expanded rosters, the Mets had not put eight homegrown players in their starting lineup since April 19, 1990, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That lineup included Greg Jeffries, Keith Miller, Darryl Strawberry, Mark Carreon, Dave Magadan, Barry Lyons, Kevin Elster and Dwight Gooden, homegrown players all. The lone exception was third baseman Howard Johnson, who came to New York in a trade from the Tigers.
Of the eight lifetime Mets in Monday's lineup, Wright was the only one not drafted or signed under former general manager Omar Minaya's watch.
"A lot of these guys came up together that are in this lineup today, and I think there's more to come," Collins said. "This organization has been ridiculed for not having a very good Minor League system. Well, we're running a pretty good lineup out there tonight, and they're all Mets."
Collins chooses to rest Ike vs. upcoming lefty
NEW YORK -- Strategic rest will come Tuesday for Ike Davis, irrespective of his slow start at the plate. Despite Davis' complete lack of symptoms, the Mets wish to proceed carefully with their starting first baseman after his Valley Fever scare in Spring Training.
"If you're going to give Ike a blow, that's a good day to do it," manager Terry Collins said. "It's a night game followed by a day game. So you've got to make up your mind which one you want him to have off."
Collins chose Tuesday, mostly due to the presence of Nationals lefty Ross Detwiler and Davis' significant career splits against left-handed pitching. In that fashion, Davis should continue to receive sporadic off days throughout the summer, with Justin Turner subbing for him at first base.
The first of them likely would have come Tuesday even if Davis had not gone 0-for-15 to start the season.
"The only way you're going to get going is to hit, to get in the batter's box," Collins said. "It's just that with some of the things we're looking at in the case of Ike ... his health is still a concern at times."
"Honestly, it's probably smart right now to give me a day," Davis said after the Mets' 4-3 walk-off win over the Nats. "Do I want to come out? No, because I want to get a hit. But it's a lefty, and I haven't gotten a hit all year."
Center fielder Andres Torres has made no progress in his rehab from a strained left calf, according to manager Terry Collins, and is unlikely to return from the disabled list when eligible. Torres, who missed two weeks of Spring Training with an identical injury, is currently receiving treatment in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Scott Hairston have formed a center-field platoon in his stead.
The Mets have extended their $2.50 ticket promotion to Tuesday 7:10 p.m. ET game against the Nationals, after selling out their allotment of $2.50 tickets to Wednesday's 1:10 p.m. matinee. Tickets are available at mets.com, or at the Citi Field ticket windows adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
Left-hander Jon Niese was charged an additional earned run after an official scorer reviewed the seventh inning of Sunday's game between the Mets and Braves. Niese's final line was three earned runs -- opposed to two -- in six-plus innings.