6/12/2013 12:26 A.M. ET
Mets shift Murphy to first base, Valdespin to second
By Anthony DiComo and Chris Iseman / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- As Daniel Murphy was busy discussing the Mets' new defensive alignment Tuesday afternoon, Justin Turner tossed a first baseman's glove to him from across the clubhouse.
"They haven't put the gold label on it yet," Turner quipped.
How often Murphy uses the leather will depend entirely upon how long regular first baseman Ike Davis stays in the Minors, attempting to work out the kinks in his swing. In the interim, manager Terry Collins revealed that Murphy will slide from second to first base, while Jordany Valdespin will take over everyday duties at second.
Against select left-handed pitchers, Collins may move Murphy back to second and use new callup Josh Satin at first. But with a run of at least six consecutive right-handers facing the Mets this homestand, Murphy and Valdespin will stay at their new positions for at least the immediate future.
"We trust Terry, and he runs the ship," Murphy said. "I'm a player. So when he tells me, 'This is what I think is best for the team' … I'm excited about it."
Entering the night with 218 career games at second base compared to 165 at first, Murphy last took grounders at his new position this spring. Most defensive metrics pegged him as a better first baseman until this season, when he began showing marked improvement at the keystone.
Still, neither he nor Collins admitted any concern to moving Murphy now, at a time when he finally appeared comfortable at second base. Collins said shifting Murphy was preferable to starting Satin every day at first, or to moving Lucas Duda from left field -- where he remains a well below-average defender -- to his natural position at first.
"What trumped everything is we don't think Ike's going to be gone very long," Collins said. "So we did not want to move Lucas to first base and send a terrible message that that job's taken."
Moving Murphy instead of Duda will also allow the Mets to give Valdespin an uninterrupted run at second base, his own natural position. Starting mostly in the outfield against right-handed pitchers, Valdespin entered Tuesday's play with three home runs and a .294 on-base percentage in 93 at-bats.
"I think it's my time, because they want to give me the chance to show I can do my job and help my team," Valdespin said. "The best I can do is come to the field and work hard every day, and focus on the team when the opportunity is there -- ready my mind and ready my body to do my job."
In Tuesday's lineup, Valdespin led off, with Murphy batting cleanup and Duda fifth.
"This is about winning baseball games," Murphy said. "It's not about playing one position over another. We've got to win baseball games. And today against the St. Louis Cardinals, this is the lineup that he thinks gives us the best chance to win."
Davis working toward quick return to Mets
NEW YORK -- If nothing else, Ike Davis appears to be taking his demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas in stride.
Davis officially reported to Las Vegas on Tuesday, spending his pregame hours hanging around the cage with his new manager, Wally Backman. After departing Citi Field on Sunday without addressing his demotion, Davis discussed it at length for the first time Tuesday.
"You don't ever want to come back to the Minor Leagues after playing in the big leagues for three straight years," the first baseman told reporters in Vegas. "But sometimes there are blips in the road, and you've just got to go through it and come out stronger and be a better baseball player."
Across the country in New York, Mets manager Terry Collins said he did not know if Davis needed to tweak his swing, make wholesale changes, or simply gain a little confidence in the desert. But he did say he expects Davis to be back before long.
Davis, not surprisingly, feels the same way.
"I've proven I can get hot in a couple of months and totally turn things around," he said. "That's hopefully what I do here."
Mets promote Satin, Edgin and Cowgill from Minors
NEW YORK -- It was the sixth inning of Las Vegas' game against the Tacoma Rainiers on Sunday, when the 51s learned three Mets players were being sent down. One of them was Ike Davis. For the rest of the game, first baseman Josh Satin had to try to keep his mind focused on his own game, on his next two at-bats, on trying to help Las Vegas to a win over a good Tacoma team.
His mind understandably started to wander.
"You're trying to play and win a ballgame, but also, in the back of your mind, you're like, 'I hope I'm the guy that gets called up,'" Satin said.
Sure enough, after the game he learned the news.
Las Vegas manager Wally Backman called three players into his office individually. Left-hander Josh Edgin, outfielder Collin Cowgill and then Satin all learned they were heading to New York to join the Mets, filling the roles of Davis, Mike Baxter and Robert Carson, who were all sent down to Las Vegas after the Mets' 8-4 loss to Miami on Sunday.
They boarded the same flight to New York on Monday, an off-day for the Mets. While they're joining the team at a rough time, they're all here to help New York any way they can.
"I'm ready for any role," Satin said. "I assume I'll mostly be playing first. If it's play every day or hit off lefties, I'm ready for it."
Manager Terry Collins said Satin won't be a part of a platoon with Daniel Murphy, who will be the regular first baseman until Davis comes back. Satin will play essentially when Collins needs to rest Murphy.
Satin was hitting .305 with nine home runs and 32 RBIs in 59 games with Las Vegas. He was hitting .354 against left-handers.
He's played in a total of 16 games for the Mets, spanning 2011-12, and hit .192 with two RBIs.
Satin hasn't been at the Major League level yet this season. Now he has an opportunity, which he's looking to take advantage of.
"I want to be a Major League Baseball player," Satin said. "I want to stay here."
Edgin started this season with the Mets but struggled from the start. He made 11 appearances and gave up 10 runs on 13 hits in 9 1/3 innings. The Mets sent him down to Double-A Binghamton on April 27.
He earned a promotion to Triple-A on May 14. Edgin was 2-0 with a 5.91 ERA for Las Vegas, and allowed 14 runs on 24 hits in 18 2/3 innings. He also struck out 22 batters.
Edgin said the time in the Minor Leagues allowed him to learn to pitch well again in a more relaxed environment. He said he started limiting the time he thought about baseball and the way he was pitching to when he was actually at the ballpark and on the mound.
The approach has worked so far.
"I kind of just let everything go and stopped thinking," Edgin said. "I've been throwing well lately."
Cowgill, meanwhile, already had a big moment this season, hitting a grand slam on Opening Day. After struggling at the plate, though, the Mets sent the outfielder down to Las Vegas on May 3.
He was hitting .268 with five home runs for the 51s.
Collins said Backman told him Cowgill has been doing a better job of laying off the breaking ball that's down. The Mets are confident he can add some value off the bench.
Now it's just a matter of finding him playing time.
"We all know he can hammer a fastball, and that's why he's back here, because he's made some huge adjustments," Collins said. "The issue now is how we're going to get him in the lineup."
Mets' 'Tribute for Heroes' finalists unveiled
NEW YORK -- The 90 finalists for Major League Baseball and People Magazine's "Tribute for Heroes" campaign, which recognizes veterans and military service members, were announced on Tuesday.
One winner from each of the 30 teams will be included in All-Star Week festivities and recognized during the pregame ceremony before the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field on July 16.
The finalists for the Mets are Omar Navarro from Jersey City, N.J., Helen Fumo from Manor, Texas, and Jeffrey Callaghan from Kings Park, N.Y.
The finalists were chosen by MLB and People Magazine, as well as a panel that included General Peter W. Chiarelli, General John M. "Jack" Keane, Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, Indians outfielder Nick Swisher, Giants pitcher Barry Zito, Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes, Diamondbacks pitcher Brad Ziegler, Padres infielder Chase Headley and Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen.
Fans can visit TributeForHeroes.com to view the full list of finalists and vote on their favorite stories through June 30.
• Matt Harvey (back tightness) threw his routine between-starts bullpen session Tuesday without issue. Harvey remains on track to start Thursday against the Cardinals.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.