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Valdespin raking at Triple-A, but callup not imminent

Valdespin raking at Triple-A, but callup not imminent

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MIAMI -- Jordany Valdespin may have opened eyes at Triple-A Las Vegas by winning Pacific Coast League Player of the Week honors, but that doesn't mean the controversial infielder will return to Flushing anytime soon.

"I know he's hitting good," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Valdespin, who earned his award by hitting .550 last week with three doubles, one triple, one home run, six walks and 10 RBIs. "There's no real formula for when he may be back or what he has to do to get back. He's doing exactly what he's supposed to do, and that's play as well as he can play."

To even consider recalling Valdespin from Las Vegas, the Mets would have to extend their bench back to five players -- something they are unwilling to do right now. A five-man bench would force the Mets either to play short in the bullpen or stop experimenting with a six-man rotation, which they are using to dampen the innings totals of young pitchers Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler.

"In our situation, where we're looking at trying to maintain a six-man rotation, it's about the health of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler," Collins said. "So [Valdespin] might have to ride it out [in the Minors] for a little while."

Though the Mets do not currently have a left-handed bat on their bench, Collins noted that each of his four extra players offers something important. Anthony Recker is the backup catcher and is not going anywhere. Justin Turner is a Swiss Army knife for Collins, capable of playing five different positions. Andrew Brown is the only natural outfielder the Mets have in reserve. And though Josh Satin is not as instrumental from a defensive standpoint, he piqued the Mets' curiosity earlier this month with his hot streak at the plate.

Perhaps the factor working most aggressively against Valdespin, however, is that he left the Mets on such bad terms, throwing a clubhouse tantrum prior to his departure. Collins said at the time that Valdespin's greatest mistake was doing so in front of general manager Sandy Alderson, who holds the final say on any roster moves.

Also off New York's radar is former starting shortstop Ruben Tejada, who is batting .378 over his last 10 games for Las Vegas and .337 overall. Collins said that Tejada may have to wait until September for a callup.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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