MIAMI -- In the future, manager Terry Collins envisions Dilson Herrera hitting second in the Mets lineup. But for now, Collins doesn't want to put too much on the plate of the 20-year-old prospect.
"In a perfect world, I'd really like to see Herrera hitting in the second hole," Collins said Wednesday night, before a 4-3 win over the Marlins. "But I'm not quite brave enough to put him in there just yet."
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Collins had the opportunity Wednesday night, when he gave the slumping Curtis Granderson a day off. Granderson, who is expected back in the lineup on Friday, has been hitting second as the Mets try out Juan Lagares in the leadoff spot.
But with Granderson out, Collins moved Matt den Dekker into the second spot while leaving Herrera hitting seventh, where he has batted in all six of his big-league starts. Herrera is hitting .182 after going 0-for-4 Wednesday night, but he has a homer, a triple, and five RBIs.
Collins isn't alone in thinking Herrera could handle duties near the top of the lineup. With improved consistency, one rival talent evaluator said recently that Herrera would have "enough pop and flexibility to he a two-hole guy."
For the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery, Matt Harvey will throw simulated innings during a bullpen session Thursday, pitching coach Dan Warthen said . . . Reliever Vic Black also will throw his first bullpen session since landing on the DL with a slightly herniated disc in his neck . . . Stony Brook product Tom Koeher did not factor in the decision, though he registered a career-high 10 strikeouts, allowing two runs in seven innings . . . September call-up Dario Alvarez allowed an inherited run to score in his big-league debut. The lefty specialist threw just two pitches to Christian Yelich, who knocked in the game-tying run in the seventh.