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Wilmer Flores again takes over at shortstop

New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores practices during

New York Mets shortstop Wilmer Flores practices during a workout day at Citi Field on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Mets' revolving door at shortstop again has shifted the spotlight to Wilmer Flores, who will take over for the injured Ruben Tejada for the remainder of the postseason.

Flores will start Game 3 of the NLDS on Monday night against the Dodgers, two days after Tejada was carted off the field following a controversial takeout slide by Chase Utley.

"It's been quite an up-and-down season for both guys," manager Terry Collins said.

At the start of the season, Flores was tabbed as the starter, with Tejada in a backup role. But Flores' defensive struggles prompted the Mets to move Tejada back to shortstop, his natural position.

"I think when the season started and Wilmer was there and he had some struggles early, I think Ruben said, 'Look, I gotta get after this. That's my job,' " Collins said. "And I think he set his mind to becoming a better player, and he did. He got better."

Flores saw more action at shortstop near the end of the season, but as the playoffs neared, Tejada again took on more of the playing time because of his superior defense.

"Now, we went into the playoffs, we thought it was important on the defensive side of the infield to play the best guy," Collins said. "And again, no disrespect to Wilmer; he played very well, but Ruben has just got more experience playing shortstop at this level. So we thought he was the guy."

Flores' playing time dipped because of back tightness and a case of strep throat that led to weight loss. But Collins said he is feeling better.

To take Tejada's place on the roster and give the Mets another option at shortstop, they are expected to add prospect Matt Reynolds, who would be making his big-league debut if he's used in the postseason.

Notes & quotes: The Mets remain undecided on who will start in leftfield gainst lefty Brett Anderson in Game 3. Said Collins: "We're going to think about all the options." Michael Cuddyer typically starts against lefties, but rookie Michael Conforto has looked good at the plate and homered off Zack Greinke in Game 2. Yoenis Cespedes could move to leftfield with Gold Glover Juan Lagares playing in centerfield . . . With lefty Steven Matz officially starting Game 4, Collins said Jacob deGrom will start Game 5 if the series goes that far.


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