Cuddyer still out; lineup changes minimal
NEW YORK -- Wednesday night, after watching his team's scoreless streak stretch to 20 innings, Terry Collins said change was coming. The Mets' manager vowed to "flip-flop some guys" in the batting order, hoping it would spark something.
When Collins filled out his lineup card Thursday morning, those changes were minimal: Darrell Ceciliani had been moved up to the No. 2 slot, Lucas Duda had been dropped to cleanup and starting pitcher Jacob deGrom was in the No. 8 position.
"We tried to maybe get some guys up at the top of the order, and see if we can score early," Collins said.
Perhaps the new lineup's most notable feature isn't a change at all, with Michael Cuddyer still absent from it. The veteran left fielder sat out Wednesday night's game with a sore left knee that forced him from Tuesday's game after six innings.
An MRI Wednesday morning showed promise, but Cuddyer's knee has yet to respond to a pair of shots intended to strengthen and loosen the joint. The Mets still aren't ready to place Cuddyer on the disabled list, but Collins admitted it would become a consideration should he not be available Friday.
"If we've got to suck it up for another day, we can do that," Collins said. "It's better than having him sit for a while."
With Cuddyer out, the Mets had just two healthy bench hitters for this series finale with the Cubs. Collins said Wednesday night that he was prepared to have deGrom or fellow starter Steven Matz pinch-hit, but added he'd risk them only in emergency situations.