JUPITER, Fla. - It's not early in spring training anymore, and Terry Collins said it's getting late for injured first-base candidates Ike Davis and Lucas Duda.
"The issue has been we've got to decide who the main guy is," the Mets manager said Monday. "That's been the part that's been the most frustrating . . . You're looking at more days [not playing] and we're running out of days."
Duda (hamstring) and Davis (calf) got at-bats in minor-league camp Monday. Duda was 3-for-4 with a homer, double and a walk, and Davis was 1-for-4 with two walks.
But neither has been cleared to run or play defense. Duda seems to be ahead of Davis and could be the designated hitter in a major-league exhibition game this week. But the Mets have been saying that for some time.
The problem for the Mets: How do they pick a first baseman for the March 31 season opener if neither gets enough at-bats in spring training?
"I don't know," Collins said. "But we're running out of days, I can tell you that."
If neither is ready, Josh Satin could be the Opening Day first baseman. Satin is batting .313 with one homer and four RBIs.
Flores at short
Wilmer Flores will get his third start at shortstop Tuesday. Ruben Tejada started Monday, was 1-for-3 and played errorless ball in the Mets' 10-7 loss to the Marlins. Tejada is batting .120.
Of Flores, Collins said: "I want to play him at shortstop. He's worked very, very hard on his agility and I want to see it in action. The best place to see it is right in the middle of the field."
Jose Valverde threw 12/3 scoreless innings and is getting closer to earning a spot. His ERA is 3.86. "He's certainly making a very strong case as a guy that's going to pitch in the back side of that bullpen," Collins said.