PHILADELPHIA -- Mets manager Terry Collins has resisted the urge to insert Bobby Abreu's hot bat into his lineup on a regular basis. Though Abreu entered the night with five hits in his most recent 11 at-bats, all of them coming during starts in the outfield, Collins benched him for Thursday's series opener in Philadelphia.
The reason was three-fold. At 40 years old, Collins said, Abreu can be prone to tiring more easily than other players. The Mets also must be wary of the tradeoff they are making with Abreu in the lineup, essentially swapping defense for offense, and they must understand that starting Abreu means they cannot pick their spots with their most experienced pinch-hitter.
Collins plans to make that sacrifice Friday, scheduling Abreu for a start against Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett.
"You've just got to be careful about wearing him down," Collins said.