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Mets try Valdespin at top of lineup

Jordany Valdespin follows the flight of his

Jordany Valdespin follows the flight of his sixth-inning solo home run. (August 12, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

When your offense is struggling, a manager will try different things to spark the lineup. Mets manager Terry Collins decided to bat centerfielder Jordany Valdespin in the leadoff spot this afternoon as the Mets try to avoid a four-game sweep at Citi Field against the Rockies.

The Mets have scored 18 runs in their last nine games for an average of two per game. The Mets have scored five runs in the first three games against the Rockies, who have a staff ERA of 5.31. The starting pitchers ERA is 6.10.

Valdespin doesn't have the attributes of a typical leadoff hitter. Valdepin had a walk rate of just three percent entering play and a strikeout rate of 20 percent. In 156 at-bats, Valdespin has a .276 on-base percentage.

Valdespin had received some buzz for his five pinch-hit home runs this season. Since July 26, he is batting .167 (10-for-60) with 16 strikeouts.

Valdespin hasn't shown to be a patient hitter, but he did work the count full and walk in his first at-bat and stole second base. He worked the count full in his second at-bat before he singled, but got caught stealing.

In his third at-bat, he put down a bunt that went right to pitcher Adam Ottavino, who threw him out. He struck out in his fourth at-bat.

New York Sports