Terry Collins reiterated pregame Friday that Ronny Cedeno is "pretty much" his primary shortstop until Ruben Tejada returns from the disabled list.
So why keep Jordany Valdespin at the major league level for limited at-bats?
New York Mets
Collins, who had indicated days earlier it would be difficult for the rookie Valdespin to stave off a demotion, said with the Mets now playing 20 straight days, Cedeno cannot play every game. (Nor can Daniel Murphy, the manager added.) Collins also said that the Mets have been short lefty bats on the bench when they start their typical lineup against right-handed pitching, so this gives a lefty bat option for pinch-hitting. (The typical bench otherwise are righty hitters Justin Turner, Scott Hairston and the non-starter at catcher, plus lefty hitter Mike Baxter.)
Turner will become more of a first/third base backup.
Vinny Rottino instead was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
"We've had some issues before where we've ended up having a number of right-handed hitters left," Collins said.
The manager added: "One of the things we're going to talk about to the players today, today starts 20 in a row for the first time. We don't have a lot of those in the season. But that's grueling, 20 in a row. Obviously we're not going to get rained out here. We know that. It's really hard to get rained out at home. Our field is so good, so well taken care of. So we're going to play a lot of games. So we're looking at: We're going to have to give Cedeno a day off. We're going to get Murph a day off. We're going to have to get David Wright a day off, and Ike Davis.
New York Mets
"Jordany Valdespin, yeah, as a prospect, should he be in the lineup every day? You'd like that. But in our case, we're going to have to pick and choose spots to give him in the next couple of weeks."
When is Tejada coming back from the quadriceps strain? He's eligible to be activated May 22.
"I've spent too much time in the past concerning myself with guys I don't have -- 'When are they coming back? When are they getting back? How are they doing?'" Collins responded. "And, you know what, I have no crystal ball. Nobody can tell me today, 'Hey look, it's going to be 10 more days for Ruben Tejada,' or 12 more days. Nothing has changed, but I have to prepare myself for what I have at the moment, and how to keep these guys fresh and make sure they're ready to play. Right now Jordany Valdespin is a part of that mix."
• Collins said he has quizzed managers about the Marlins' spacious ballpark, including Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, who played a pair of exhibition games in Miami before facing the Mets to close out spring training.
On the Marlins' spacious ballpark, Collins said: "They said it's big. It plays big. We're used to it."