ST. LOUIS -- With each passing day, Mets manager Jerry Manuel's eagerness to bat Jose Reyes third in the lineup seems to ease.
Despite his earlier proclamation that Reyes could bat third at some point this weekend, Manuel kept mum on Friday when asked if his plans had changed. Though Reyes did start at shortstop vs. the Cardinals, he hit leadoff for the sixth straight game. And there's a chance he may never drop down in the lineup.
"I'm going to reserve that a little bit until he feels comfortable, until he feels good about it," Manuel said. "It's just a matter of putting some things in place with the pieces that we have."
Most important is finding someone who could slide in the leadoff spot if Reyes dropped to third. Angel Pagan, whom Manuel had previously discussed as an option, is mired in a 1-for-14 slump, dropping his average to .208 and his on-base percentage to .240. Gary Matthews Jr. took Pagan's place in Friday's lineup, batting eighth.