I always liked Luis Castillo in the two hole because of his ability to bunt, hit behind Jose Reyes and work the count.
However, with the way Angel Pagan has taken to that position in the order, and how the Mets have played with him there, when Castillo comes back from the disabled list I’d rather have him hit eight and keep Pagan second.
Last night, Pagan broke open a close game with a two run double, something he’s done a lot of lately with an average of well over .300 with RISP.
Reyes and David Wright are hitting now, but unquestionably the Mets’ most consistent hitter this season has been Pagan.
He’ll bat second again today in a pitcher’s duel between Mike Pelfrey and Phil Hughes, both of whom are 9-1.
Jerry Manuel is saying John Maine might need another rehab start after Friday night, which probably isn’t a bad idea considering he was clocked at 88 mph. in his last outing.
When Maine comes back he would most likely come back as a starter because Manuel fears his shoulder might not be able to handle the up-and-down nature of the bullpen.
Several years ago the Mets once toyed with the idea of moving Maine to the bullpen but resisted.
Word is Carlos Beltran is running with a limp, which still delays the timetable on his return.
Once Beltran moves from extended spring training games to a minor league rehab assignment the clock will start and the Mets would have 20 days to activate him.
NOTES: Luis Castillo is taking ground balls in Port St. Lucie and might be activated for the Yankees series at the Stadium this weekend. … With the Mets facing righthanded pitching until Sunday look for Chris Carter to remain as the DH.