Kelly Johnson to serve as DH in Game 1, but not second game of World Series

KANSAS CITY -- Kelly Johnson will serve as the designated hitter for the New York Mets in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium.

Johnson is hitting .286 (4-for-14) with a double, two RBIs and three walks in his career against Kansas City Royals starter Edinson Volquez.

Manager Terry Collins predicted a different DH for Game 2 against Johnny Cueto because left-handed batters hit only .215 against Cueto during the regular season, compared with .265 for righty batters.

“We thought tomorrow night that Kelly gave us our best opportunity, and if we need to make changes, we will,” Collins said.

Given the spacious dimensions at Kauffman Stadium, one alternative was to start 2014 Gold Glove winner Juan Lagares in center field and use one of the regular outfielders as the DH -- even though Lagares does not generally start against right-handed pitching. But Yoenis Cespedes recently indicated that he does not want to DH, even with his left shoulder still somewhat of an issue. And Collins said he feels OK with the fielding capabilities of Michael Conforto in left field, Cespedes in center and Curtis Granderson in right.

“We're pretty happy with our outfield defense,” Collins said. “This is a big park, like ours. I think Yoenis has shown that he can play center field. And if we need to make moves, we'll make moves later in the game.”

Johnson has been used sporadically this postseason. He is 1-for-6 through two rounds, all coming off the bench, with a single plate appearance in each game he has played.

“You never know, but I think the adrenaline of just being in the World Series is going to be enough,” Johnson said about any potential rustiness. “I’ll obviously be able to this time have an at-bat to build onto the next one.”

As for his experience against Volquez, Johnson noted it primarily came from 2008 through 2010. He has had only two at-bats against Volquez since then, both in 2014.

“If anything, there’s going to be some comfort there in having seen him before. When I look at some video and things like that, at least you’ll be able to see how he throws and how he attacks me,” Johnson said. “I definitely faced he and Cueto when they were Reds teammates together more. So it’s been a while.”