Ike Davis will sit against a left-hander for the third time in six days. This time, Mike Hessman again starts at first base against Houston Astros southpaw Wandy Rodriguez. Davis sat last Wednesday against Colorado's Jeff Francis as well as Friday against Cole Hamels.
New York Mets
Jeff Francoeur is in the lineup over Fernando Martinez, which is a more predictable lineup decision against a left-hander. And Luis Castillo starts over Ruben Tejada, who is hitless since rejoining the Mets.
Jerry Manuel said last week that Davis and Hessman are not in a platoon -- that he merely wanted to strategically rest Davis during a long season. The manager's actions suggest otherwise, though.
And, frankly, it's irresponsible for the Mets not to be developing Davis for next season by letting him face left-handers now since the Mets are not in a postseason race -- even if they won't admit it. (Hessman, despite being a nice story, is considered a 'AAAA' player with no real major league future.)
As an aside, Davis held his own against left-handers in the minors. Last season with Binghamton, he hit .268 against left-handers and .331 against right-handers. There was a more pronounced split during the first half of last season with St. Lucie, when Davis hit .197/.323. But if he is a future everyday player at the position, let him get the experience now while the games are relatively meaningless.
It's actually a comparable issue to having Jenrry Mejia in the bullpen to start the season as opposed to in the minors developing as a starter -- serving the short-term needs of personnel who may not be here for the long haul, to the detriment of the organization's long-term needs.
Anyway, Monday's lineup:
Jose Reyes, SS
Angel Pagan, LF
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Mike Hessman, 1B
Henry Blanco, C
Luis Castillo, 2B
Jon Niese, LHP