Maximizing speed may move Reyes back

Maximizing speed may move Reyes back

DENVER -- With Jose Reyes and Luis Castillo healthy, and Angel Pagan starting in center field, the Mets entered Tuesday's game with their three speediest regulars together in the lineup for the first time this season.

It was that combination that, back in Spring Training, first prompted manager Jerry Manuel to consider batting Reyes third in the lineup. But Manuel is not quite ready to shift that experiment to the regular season.

"I'm not ready for that one yet," he said. "I've got to give Jose a chance to get comfortable."

Manuel did say, however, that if Reyes and Pagan both begin producing, he won't hesitate to drop Reyes down to third in the order. Pagan could lead off, followed by Castillo and Reyes, then the club's more traditional power hitters.

Manuel insists he is willing to try it. Just not yet.

"I would hope that if we begin to see [Reyes] get back into the groove that he's been in for years, get back into that form and get really comfortable with his swing and stuff, we could do that," Manuel said. "I don't want to think that we'd be forced. I just want to think that it would be a good option for us."