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Mets' starting lineup a no 'Spin zone
MINNEAPOLIS -- Jordany Valdespin has excelled in the leadoff spot. He also looked good on Friday night patrolling the wide expanse that is center field here at Target Field. On the Mets' current road trip, Valdespin is 6-for-12.
Just as he was in camp, Valdespin is swinging one of the hottest bats on the team.
Yet, against Twins lefthander Scott Diamond on Saturday, Valdespin will watch from the bench as the righthanded hitting Collin Cowgill (.130) makes the start as the leadoff man playing centerfield. Manager Terry Collins said he wasn't tempted to leave Valdespin in the lineup against the lefty Diamond since Cowgill has historically torched righthanded pitching. Cowgill is also 3-for-3 lifetime against Diamond.
But even in other parts of the lineup, Collins believes he found better fits than Valdespin. He wants to give at-bats to utilityman Justin Turner, who will serve as the designated hitter. Outfielder Marlon Byrd hits lefthanders well and leftfielder Lucas Duda has looked good against southpaws early in the season.
"It's just a process of elimination," Collins said of leaving out Valdespin, who is hitting .400 over the Mets' first 10 games.
Diamond, who is making his season debut, will be opposed by Mets righthander Matt Harvey (2-0, 0.64 ERA). The lineups:
Collin Cowgill CF
Daniel Murphy 2B
David Wright 3B
John Buck C
Lucas Duda LF
Marlon Byrd RF
Ike Davis 1B
Justin Turner DH
Ruben Tejada SS
Aaron Hicks CF
Joe Mauer DH
Josh Willingham LF
Justin Morneau 1B
Ryan Doumit C
Trevor Plouffe 3B
Chris Parmalee RF
Brian Dozier 2B
Eduardo Escobar SS