Mets fine with Evans, despite quiet year

Mets fine with idle Evans

WASHINGTON -- When New York Mets outfielder Nick Evans began his Major League career in May 2008 he did not do so quietly.

In Evans' first game in the Majors, he went 3-for-4 with three doubles and two RBIs against the Rockies. His performance had Mets fans hoping that they have found a cornerstone outfielder for years to come.

In 2009, however, Evans has not been much of a factor. He has struggled throughout the year, and over the course of the past month has seen his plate appearances disappear, getting just three at-bats since Sept. 12 and only 64 on the year.

On the season, the 23-year-old from Phoenix has hit just .219 with seven RBIs and one home run, a far cry from what was expected of him when the season began.

"I just think we are in a situation where we are somewhat forced to bring people up probably quicker than we would have liked," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said, "and he is probably one of those guys that we probably pushed a little too early, and then when you do that it appears that his stock has fallen, but it hasn't.

"It is just the fact that we are in a situation where we needed to find other people, and we preferred to have him instead of that."

Evans started every game from June 30-July 7, but since that point he has started just four games and has received scarce pinch-hit opportunities.

With just five games remaining for the Mets this year, Evans will continue to see limited opportunities to play. When asked before Monday's game against the Nationals if Evans would see any time during the three-game series, Manuel didn't have an answer, unsure if Evans would see time at the plate or in the field.

Manuel feels that despite the limited on-field action for Evans, his 2009 season has not been a waste.

"I think any time you get to experience the Major Leagues as a young player and see some things, and then you kind of formulate in your mind that, 'Hey, I can do this, I can do that,' and get an opportunity to go and play, I don't think it can be considered a waste," Manuel said.

Manuel did say that it probably would have been better for Evans' development as a player to have spent more time in the Minor Leagues in 2009.

"I do think this has been a great experience for him," Manuel said. "Only time will tell whether this paid off for him to have this experience at the Major League level."

Pitching matchup
NYM: RHP Mike Pelfrey (10-12, 5.08 ERA)
It was another inconsistent outing from Pelfrey, who labored through six innings in a 5-2 loss to the Braves on Wednesday. Pelfrey allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits, with three of those runs coming in the second. Pelfrey is 1-2 with a 4.12 ERA in three starts this season versus the Nationals. One of those losses came in his lone outing at Nationals Park, where he gave up three runs on six hits in seven innings back on July 22. Pelfrey's had the most trouble with Elijah Dukes (6-for-9 with a homer) and Josh Willingham (7-for-17 with two homers), while limiting Adam Dunn to three hits in 15 career at-bats against him.

WSH: RHP J.D. Martin (5-4, 4.71 ERA)
Martin started for the Nationals on Thursday and wasn't effective, allowing four runs in the first inning. It didn't help that he didn't have much of a breaking ball. Matt Kemp highlighted the scoring with a three-run homer. Martin allowed five runs in three innings.

Tidbits
With five games remaining in the season, the Mets are one triple shy of tying the franchise record for triples in a season. The club record is 47, set in 1978 and again in 1996. ... Pedro Feliciano made his 85th appearance of the season on Monday night, retiring the only batter he faced. With the 85 appearances, Feliciano is tied with the Braves' Peter Moylan for the top spot in the National League. ... The Mets announced the following players will participate in the Arizona Fall League for the Surprise Rafters: first baseman Ike Davis; infielder Ruben Tejada; outfielder Lucas Duda; right-handed pitchers Jenrry Mejia, Scott Moviel and Josh Stinson; and left-handed pitcher Eric Niesen. Infielder Reese Havens was added to the taxi squad, allowing him to play two games a week. Play begins October 13. ... Team USA defeated Cuba, 10-5, on Sunday to capture the 2009 World Cup. Davis did not play in the Gold Medal game, but he delivered three consecutive game-winning RBIs leading up to the final. During the tournament, he batted .333 (10-for-30) with two doubles, a triple, three home runs and five RBIs.

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On the Internet
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Up next
• Wednesday: Mets (Tim Redding, 3-6, 5.29) at Nationals (John Lannan, 9-13, 3.93), 4:35 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Mets (John Maine, 6-6, 4.72) vs. Astros (Wandy Rodriguez, 14-11, 2.97), 7:10 p.m. ET

Ryan Colaianni is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.