ST. LOUIS -- Mets manager Terry Collins has taken to tinkering with his lineup daily, trying to find some sort of mix that works. Tuesday, he again batted his starting pitcher eighth, though Collins cautioned not to "go to the riverboat" with a bet that he will continue to do so.
All that's clear is that change has become a daily occurrence for the Mets, with only one man immune. Regular No. 3 hitter David Wright has yet to start a game outside of that spot, and will not move despite a lengthy slump from which he may finally be emerging.
"I haven't seen this since I've been here, where he's gone through this type of slump," Collins said of Wright, who homered and doubled in Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Cardinals to snap a 3-for-44 funk. "I don't mess with him. You don't put up his numbers in 10 years like he's put up and think you've got to mess too much with what he's doing."
Wright came into Tuesday's play batting .070 with a .296 OPS since June 3, one of the longest extended slumps of his career. Insisting he is healthy, Wright struggled to point to a specific reason behind his issues.
"I've had some good at-bats. I've had some bad at-bats. I've had some at-bats where I've hit the ball hard right at people," Wright said. "On the flip side of that, I've had some at-bats where ... I just haven't felt comfortable in there. You go through these types of things. Granted, it's lasted a little longer than I would have liked it to."
Still, Collins said he has no plans to shift Wright from the three-hole. Claiming he spent over an hour constructing Tuesday's lineup, Collins did briefly consider dropping Wright from third to fourth, but ultimately decided against it -- and won't consider moving him any lower than that. Tuesday's 2-for-4 performance only entrenched that line of thinking.
"I don't think moving David out of where he's hitting right now is going to make that big of a difference," Collins said. "He's still a threat. He's still the guy in our lineup that everybody points to, to be careful of. What we've got to get him to do is just get him to understand that he's got to be a little more selective at the plate, because they're going to try to pitch around him right now."
d'Arnaud tearing it up at Triple-A Las Vegas
ST. LOUIS -- Since his demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas, catcher Travis d'Arnaud is batting .394 with five home runs in eight games.
The Mets are taking that stat line with a sizable grain of salt.
Understanding that the Pacific Coast League in general, and Vegas in particular, are famous for inflating offensive statistics, Mets manager Terry Collins has dispatched a scout with big league experience to watch d'Arnaud's plate appearances in the Minors. The hope is that the Mets will better be able to determine what is real and what might be a mirage when evaluating d'Arnaud's readiness for the Majors.
"No disrespect to the league, to the ballparks, to the players that are there," Collins said. "We have seen that at this level there's a fairly good jump. All you want to hear about is the consistency -- not that he went down and had at-bats against a club whose pitching isn't that good."
The Mets still have a bit of time to evaluate, but not too much. If d'Arnaud spends fewer than 20 days at Triple-A, the Mets will retain his final Minor League option. Though the organization will not base roster decisions solely on that fact, its ideal scenario involves recalling him before June 27.
• Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched one inning out of the bullpen Tuesday after leaving Sunday's start after one inning with a stomach illness. Regardless of his bullpen usage this week, Matsuzaka is in line to start Friday against the Marlins.
• Minor League right-hander Jeff Walters underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, the Mets announced Tuesday. Walters, 26, led the Minors with 38 saves last summer for Double-A Binghamton. He held an 8.86 ERA in 23 appearances this year for Triple-A Las Vegas.
• The Mets announced Tuesday that they will host the 2014 Citi Field Sleepover on Saturday, July 19 beginning at 5 p.m. ET. The team is offering "a host of activities during the 15-hour overnight event, including sitting on the outfield grass and watching PIX 11's live broadcast of the Mets' road game" against the Padres. Tickets will go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. at Mets.com/Sleepover. All fans attending the event will also receive a ticket to the Mets' Sept. 28 game against the Astros.