ST. LOUIS - Don't expect the Mets to be in an experimental mood with righthander Bartolo Colon starting Wednesday's series finale against the Cardinals.
Collins has made waves by batting pitchers Jacob deGrom and Jonathon Niese eighth. Both have displayed above-average ability at the plate when compared with other pitchers.
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But the Mets won't extend the streak to three with Colon, whose at-bats have featured flailing swings and flying batting helmets. The 41-year-old is 0-for-26 this season with 17 strikeouts. He's a career .082 hitter in 122 at-bats.
"Am I going to hit Bartolo eighth [today]?" Collins said. "Don't go to the riverboat tonight and put any money on it."
Years in the Pacific Coast League have taught Collins to question some of the offensive numbers posted there. It's why he's requested that the Mets send a big-league scout to keep tabs on catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
Collins hopes that a scout with fresh eyes might offer clearer insights into whether d'Arnaud is ready to be recalled to the big leagues.
"All you want to hear is about the consistency," Collins said.
In eight games at Triple-A Las Vegas, d'Arnaud's slash line is .394/.459/.909 with five homers. Nevertheless, the Mets have yet to discuss calling him up. It's a discussion that Collins said is unlikely to happen until d'Arnaud shows consistency in his at-bats.
Said Collins: "Then, you start to figure he's back."
Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched one scoreless inning Tuesday night. He was an option because a stomach ailment limited him to just one inning Sunday. He's expected to take his regular turn in the rotation Friday night . . . The Mets are close to signing first-round draft choice Michael Conforto, a source said.