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Mets ponder how to replace David Wright at third base

David Wright (5) watches a game agains the

David Wright (5) watches a game agains the Kansas Ctiy Royals from the dugout. (Aug. 3, 2013) Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

The Mets know that David Wright likely will miss the next three to five weeks with a hamstring strain. What they don't know is exactly how they'll cover for him at third base during his absence.

Before yesterday's 6-2 loss to the Royals, manager Terry Collins said he and general manager Sandy Alderson will huddle to consider their options.

One possibility is to move second baseman Daniel Murphy to third, where he filled in for Wright in 2011. The Mets have other choices, such as promoting prospect Wilmer Flores, who was hitting .322 with 14 homers and 85 RBIs for Triple-A Las Vegas entering Sunday's action. Flores can play second or third. Utilityman Jordany Valdespin also might factor into the decision. He threw a tantrum after his demotion last month, the latest in a long line of behavioral issues, but Valdespin was hitting .463 for Las Vegas through Saturday.

The Mets could cover for Wright with the players they already have on hand. If Murphy moves to third base, leftfielder Eric Young Jr. could slide to second base. Collins then could employ a platoon of Andrew Brown and recently recalled Mike Baxter in leftfield. But the manager expressed some hesitation about reshuffling an outfield that has been productive.

"I want to make sure that the situation in the outfield is what we need it to be,'' Collins said. "Again, we've played so well out there, I don't want to disrupt a lot of things, even though I know with Mike back here and Andrew Brown, we've got a platoon we can put in leftfield if necessary.''

Extra basesCloser Bobby Parnell is scheduled to be examined by doctors Monday. Parnell reported improvement, though lingering neck stiffness sidelined him again Sunday . . . Centerfielder Juan Lagares recorded his ninth outfield assist Sunday, throwing out Eric Hosmer at third base. He entered play tied for fourth in the National League in assists . . . Veteran lefthanded specialist Tim Byrdak was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas, the latest step in his attempted comeback from major shoulder surgery.

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