Mets may use Dickey out of bullpen

Mets may use Dickey out of bullpen

NEW YORK -- Though R.A. Dickey gave the Mets more than they hoped for last Wednesday against the Nationals, he may not have done enough to earn another start.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel indicated that Raul Valdes will likely receive the start in Dickey's place on Tuesday against the Phillies. Bullpen usage this weekend against the Yankees will dictate Manuel's plans, but if the Mets need a long man on Saturday or Sunday, they will turn to Dickey instead of Valdes.

Wanting to pit the left-handed Valdes against Philadelphia's lefty-heavy lineup, Manuel also said that he hoped to reward Valdes for his five sharp innings in relief of John Maine on Thursday in Washington.

"You'd like to reward him," Manuel said. "But you might not want to reward him against the Phillies."

Still, Manuel is leaning in that direction. With an off-day Monday, the Mets will skip Maine's turn in the rotation, bringing back Hisanori Takahashi and Mike Pelfrey on short rest against the Phillies for the final two games of the series.

-- Anthony DiComo