NEW YORK -- One day, a Mets manager will pencil in Ike Davis at first base every game, regardless of who is pitching and without accounting for fatigue.
That day is not Friday, and that manager is not Jerry Manuel.
Manuel said the left-handed-hitting Davis will be the type of player that is in the lineup every day, against every matchup, later in his career. But in Davis' rookie year, Manuel believes the best way to get maximum production from his 23-year-old first baseman is to keep him fresh.
"As long as the season is for a young player like Ike, if you can give him a break here and there, then you get the most out of him," Manuel said.
Conventional wisdom would say Friday's starter Cole Hamels, a lefty, presents a good time to give Davis a blow, but Davis' stats suggest otherwise.
Davis is hitting .273 against lefties and .243 against righties this season. His OPS is 14 points lower against southpaws, but it would be a stretch to say he struggles to hit left-handed pitching.
Mike Hessman got the start in his place.
"I like to see Hessman, it gives him a chance to play," Manuel said. "He's played three or four days in a row, so you feel like now I can call on you for a good pinch-hit, and it keeps Ike fresh."