Terry Collins indicated having a four-man bench (tonight Scott Hairston, Chin-lung Hu, Brad Emaus and Mike Nickeas) isn't desired, but is a necessity for the time being.
"I'm more concerned with blowing out our bullpen before June," the manager said Monday afternoon, after Jason Isringhausen and Ryota Igarashi were added and Blaine Boyer and outfielder Lucas Duda were dropped.
The short bench partially prompted Collins to again pull Angel Pagan out of the preferred No. 2 spot in the order and place him sixth. Collins said he did not want to put Pagan second and then line up four straight lefties -- Ike Davis, Murphy, Willie Harris and Josh Thole -- lower in the order to set up Colorado manager Jim Tracy to summon one of his two left-handed relievers later in the game.
So why Murphy instead of Thole No. 2? Collins said in the nicest way possible that the speed-deficient Thole might have trouble scoring from first base on a double, whereas Murphy should find that easier.
New York Mets
• Collins said he will not hesitate to use Isringhausen late in a game right off the bat rather than ease him in. The manager reiterated that Bobby Parnell still has his faith as primary set-up man to Francisco Rodriguez.
As for not using Parnell in the eighth inning Sunday, when D.J. Carrasco and the rest of the bullpen coughed up a two-run lead, Collins said: "He had gone back-to-back days, and he's not a 10-pitch guy, as you guys know. You've just got to realize it's April. Had it been June, yeah. ... These guys have not pitched more than two days in a row in probably eight months. So I think you've got to break him in as we go. I was telling Danny [Warthen] before the game [Sunday], 'I'm going to try to give Bobby a blow today, so we've got to find somebody else to pitch the eighth inning.'"
Izzy last pitched in an extended spring training game Saturday, so Collins expects he will see action on Monday night. The manager will maintain regular dialogue with Isringhausen about his availability, but said he would be "shocked" if the veteran reliever indicates he cannot perform on any given night.
• Izzy abandoned his idea to take Jason Bay's No. 44, which is the reliever's traditional number. Instead, Izzy is sticking with No. 45. Isringhausen said that while Bay was willing to turn over No. 44, it was not fair to disrupt him. The reliever added it would have been an unfair "hassle" for equipment manager Kevin Kierst too.
New York Mets
• Collins suggested starting Murphy over Brad Emaus, who is in an 0-for-11 rut, is primarily about getting Murphy playing time. Murphy is starting for only the second time this season.
"I've got to get Murph some games," Collins said. "We kept talking about it in spring training. We told him he was going to be in the mix to play second base. We wanted to give Brad a legitimate opportunity to show us what he can do. I think we're doing that. But I also think it's important -- as I've tried to express on a weekly basis -- we've got to keep our [backup] players in the lineup a little bit so that they can get enough at-bats so that when we do pinch-hit them or use them in certain roles in big situations, they've had at-bats."
• Bay (rib-cage strain) took batting practice for a second straight day Monday. Collins would like to see Bay play in rehab games with St. Lucie this week. The hope is he can be activated for next weekend's series against the Braves. "In a perfect world, I'd love to see him in Atlanta," the manager said.