Edgin's role elevated as Byrdak hits DL

Edgin's role elevated as Byrdak hits DL

SAN DIEGO -- Already a key piece of New York's bullpen, rookie left-hander Josh Edgin is about to see his role increase once more.

With Tim Byrdak landing on the disabled list Friday with a sore left shoulder, Edgin is now the sole lefty in Terry Collins' bullpen. That means that whenever possible, Collins will wait to use Edgin until the later innings, trying to match him up against an opposing team's most daunting left-handed slugger.

"We're going to pick our spots, not rush him into the game," Collins said. "We'll probably save him until that seventh, eighth inning, depending on what the matchups are going to be."

Edgin's expanded role has not come without merit. Since struggling through his first few Major League outings, the 30th-round pick has been nearly unhittable. He has not allowed a run over his last eight appearances, striking out 12 batters and walking two in 7 1/3 innings entering Saturday.

Should the Mets face a sticky situation against a left-hander earlier in a game, Ramon Ramirez -- a right-handed pitcher with strong career splits against lefties -- will likely receive the ball. Like Edgin, Ramirez has been strong of late, holding opposing hitters to an .067 average over his last five outings.

"That's certainly why we got him," Collins said. "He's been throwing the ball much better lately, so I think that's where you're going to see more of Ramon in those spots."