On-Base Perception

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Mets' starting lineup a no 'Spin zone

Jordany Valdespin hits an RBI-single during the eighth

Jordany Valdespin hits an RBI-single during the eighth inning of a spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla. (March 13, 2013) (Credit: AP)

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:

Mets

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

Twins

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

Tags: Mets , Terry Collins , Jordany Valdespin , Collin Cowgill

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