4/12/2014 8:37 P.M. ET
Relief corps limited after heavy usage
By Anthony DiComo / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Mets manager Terry Collins sat in his office Saturday afternoon ticking off his list of unavailable or limited relievers.
Jeurys Familia was unavailable after throwing 51 pitches in Friday's 11-inning loss to the Angels. Kyle Farnsworth, who told Collins he was shot after facing two batters Friday, was a question mark after appearing in three of the Mets' previous four games. Carlos Torres was good for an inning, maybe.
That left the Mets in the tricky spot of needing Jon Niese to last deep enough into the game that Scott Rice, Gonzalez Germen and Jose Valverde could pitch the remainder.
"Obviously," Collins said, "we're going to be a little short."
Considering they began the year by giving up 14 runs in four games, Mets relievers had been remarkably successful until Friday night, stringing together a run of 20 1/3 scoreless innings before Familia hit a batter with the bases loaded. Yet the team leaned on that bunch for 11 2/3 innings from Wednesday through Friday, and all that work came at a cost.
Tejada, d'Arnaud get a breather against Angels
ANAHEIM -- The Mets lineup took on a different look Saturday night at Angel Stadium, and for once, it had nothing to do with the situation at first base.
After manning shortstop for every inning of the Mets' first 10 games, Ruben Tejada gave way to Omar Quintanilla for the first time this season. Catcher Travis d'Arnaud also took a routine day of rest, with Anthony Recker replacing him in the lineup.
Both Tejada and d'Arnaud are expected to return to the lineup in Sunday's finale.
A strong advocate of giving his starters regular rest throughout the season, manager Terry Collins planned the off-days for Tejada and d'Arnaud in advance, looking at the number of games they had played and the pitching matchups on the schedule. Collins is already looking at a timeframe for David Wright's first day off, as well -- sometime on the club's upcoming nine-game road trip to Philadelphia, Denver and Miami.
As for first base, both Ike Davis and Lucas Duda played Saturday thanks to the designated-hitter rule at Angel Stadium (Davis was at first base and Duda at DH). Josh Satin could return to the starting lineup Sunday against left-hander C.J. Wilson, after going 1-for-3 with a two-run double against another lefty, Tyler Skaggs, on Friday night.
Right now, Collins is simply searching for a combination that works. The Mets entered Saturday's play ranked last in the National League in batting average, last in on-base percentage and second-to-last in slugging.
• Reliever Vic Black returned from the Triple-A Las Vegas disabled list Friday night, striking out two batters over a scoreless inning against Fresno. Black also walked a batter.
• This weekend's series in Anaheim is a homecoming of sorts for four Mets players: d'Arnaud, Satin, Duda and Rice. All four still live in Southern California during the offseason.