<
>

TC expects promotion of position player

CHICAGO -- Assuming the Mets get through Tuesday's series opener at Wrigley Field with Zack Wheeler going relatively deep and the bullpen not getting overused, Terry Collins expects the Mets will go back to a five-man bench Wednesday and drop a reliever.

lastname Brown

lastname Nieuwenhuis If the Mets want a lefty bat for the bench who potentially can lead off -- and that may make the most sense -- Kirk Nieuwenhuis would appear the best choice. Nieuwenhuis lost a 10-game hitting streak Monday. He's hitting .265 with seven homers and 22 RBIs this season, albeit also with 38 strikeouts in 136 at-bats with the Pacific Coast League club.

If the Mets want the hottest outfield bat, that's righty-hitting Andrew Brown. He is hitting .350 with 13 homers and 31 RBIs in 140 Triple-A at-bats this season.

The Mets went to four bench players and eight relievers when they added Dana Eveland before Sunday's game in Philadelphia.