Valdespin bumped up to leadoff spot for finale

Valdespin bumped up to leadoff spot for finale

NEW YORK -- Looking to jump-start their scuffling offense, the Mets altered the top of their lineup for Thursday's finale with Rockies, batting rookie Jordany Valdespin leadoff.

"Obviously, we are doing anything we can come up with to get this offense kick-started," manager Terry Collins said. "We wanted to get Jordany at the top. That's where he has spent pretty much most of his career, leading off."

Valdespin's power and speed give him the natural tools to succeed as a leadoff man, as he did at times in the Minors. But his credentials also include a .276 on-base percentage and only five walks in 165 trips to the plate. Valdespin sees an average of 3.73 pitches per plate appearance, tied with Daniel Murphy for last on the team.

As a result of the move, Ruben Tejada shifted down to seventh in the lineup, marking the first time since May 6 that he had batted anywhere but first or second.