Although Ruben Tejada is the most likely player on the active roster to be manning second base for the Mets in 2011, Jerry Manuel indicated most of the playing time down the stretch should go to Luis Hernandez.
New York Mets
Manuel suggested the Mets need to maximize their offensive production in order to win games down the stretch. The skipper maintains Hernandez gives the Mets the best chance offensively to win. Of course, the 26-year-old Hernandez hit a combined .244 with one homer and 14 RBIs in 221 at-bats with the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals between 2007 and '09.
Manuel did say he did plan to use Tejada against two left-handed pitchers in the next series against the Pittsburgh Pirates -- Tuesday against Zach Duke and Wednesday against Paul Maholm.
"For the most part that's probably the direction we're going to go," Manuel said. "... If we think we have people that are playing well, we've still got to try to win games. With some of the things we lack offensively, Hernandez gives us a good shot offensively."
At least Tejada figures to get more playing time than Luis Castillo, whom Manuel did not even mention in the second-base mix. Castillo has had one plate appearance since last Saturday.