ATLANTA - Mets manager Terry Collins insists that Lucas Duda remains the starter at first base even though Ike Davis and Josh Satin still figure prominently in what has become an awkward rotation.
"We made a decision," Collins said before the Mets faced the Braves in Thursday night's series finale. "You don't have much credibility if you keep changing your mind every other day because somebody goes 2-for-4. So we're not going to do that."
Davis started at first base Thursday night for the second time in four games. Meanwhile, with the Mets set to face a pair of lefthanders in their upcoming three-game set against the Angels, the righthanded-hitting Satin will get a start at first base.
Despite the arrangement, Collins still sees a clear pecking order in which Duda is the established starter, as the manager announced before last Friday's game.
Said Collins: "Every four games, he'll get three of them."
Davis also will get some starts because Collins wants to keep him involved.
"It's important to keep Ike as sharp as we can because he will be coming off the bench in big situations," Collins said. "So we need to get him at-bats."
Duda, who had a pinch-hit single in the eighth last night, is hitting .217 with two homers and four RBIs in 23 at-bats. Davis (.308) went 0-for-3 with two walks and an RBI Thursday night.
Collins said he intends to give Duda a "fair number of at-bats" as the regular starter, though he declined to specify.
"You're looking at 20 at-bats," Collins said. "I'm not sure that's a fair number to really predict what the results should be and how he's applying himself. I thought he's swung the bat fine. He's trying to do what he's supposed to do and that's drive in runs. I think as long as he sticks with his plan and he doesn't get away from it, he'll do OK."
Chris Young (right quadriceps strain) went 2-for-2 with two singles, two walks and a sacrifice fly during an extended spring training game. Young also played five innings in leftfield. He's expected to play another extended spring game Friday before starting a rehab assignment at Triple-A Las Vegas . . . David Wright's 98 RBIs in interleague play is a Mets record. The Mets begin their first interleague series Friday night against the Angels.
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