Dan Uggla #26 of the Atlanta Braves is safe at...

Dan Uggla #26 of the Atlanta Braves is safe at third after tagging up in the fourth inning as Justin Turner #2 of the New York Mets waits for the throw. (June 4, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

The Mets began spring training without a second baseman and now they have one at almost every infield position. Except, of course, the player who won the Opening Day job. He's in Colorado Springs.

Make sense? Little does about the Mets this season. Their second-base competition in Port St. Lucie failed to fill that void -- Brad Emaus was released April 19 -- but produced three everyday starters instead.

The Mets' infield alignment for Saturday's game against the Braves probably will stay that way for the foreseeable future, with Daniel Murphy at first base, Ruben Tejada at second and Justin Turner at third.

Back when the injuries to Ike Davis and David Wright were supposed to be short-term problems, there was some concern about who would get squeezed out when the regulars returned. That's no longer a front-burner issue, however.

Shortly after Murphy earned the starting job at second, he had to replace Davis, who went down with the sprained ankle and bone bruise. As soon as Turner proved himself worthy of the title, he had to be moved to third to take over for the injured Wright.

Lately, this unexpected series of adjustments has worked out fine, aside from Murphy's costly error in Tuesday's loss to the Pirates. Tejada made another diving stop Saturday night and Turner chipped in at the plate with a sacrifice fly in the Mets' five-run seventh inning.

That's 23 RBIs in 32 games for Turner, who was just named Rookie of the Month for May -- the first Met to win the award. Murphy went 2-for-4 Saturday and is hitting .455 (25-for-55) since May 20, the highest average in the majors during that span. He also has a seven-game hitting streak with six multi-hit games in that stretch.

Terry Collins has the option of using Murphy at third base if he wants to give Nick Evans a start at first, but why mess with success? Turner, who's hitting second, and Murphy -- Saturday's cleanup hitter -- are two of the best things going for the Mets right now.

"We've run through several options, several thought processes," Collins said. "There's all sorts of thoughts that go through your mind. The kid out there playing second base is as good as a defender out there as anybody. And as we have in the past, you start to juggle too much. Guys aren't comfortable.

"Like Murphy, if you come in every day prepared for first base it's a lot easier. At this level with the focus and concentration that's needed to succeed, you can confuse some people moving around so much."

The Mets got to this point by accident. Davis was among the top offensive players in the National League before that fateful collision with Wright at Coors Field. As for Wright, a stress fracture of the lower back is not one of the more common injuries in baseball, but nothing is beyond the realm of possibility in the Mets' bizarro world.

Even stranger, it's working for them at the moment.