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Interleague Play Begins: How Will New York Mets Manage the DH Role?

NEW YORK - JUNE 10:  Carlos Beltran #15 of the New York Mets bats against the Philadelphia Phillies during their game on June 10, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Wendy AdairAnalyst IJune 12, 2009

Now that the Mets are finished for the time being with their NL East rivals, they are preparing to face the Yankees in the Bronx and then travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles this coming week.

In the American League parks, the DH rule will be in effect so their pitchers do not need to hit, but Jerry Manuel has decisions to make in regards to who is used as DH during the upcoming road trip.

When the Mets played the Red Sox a few weeks ago, Manuel had intended to share the DH role between Carlos Beltran, David Wright, and Gary Sheffield, but Beltran ended up being the DH the entire series because of knee pain.

I understand the concern, but honestly, if Beltran was not physically able to play the full game as a position player, he should have not played at all, even though the Mets are very short-staffed.

Just because Beltran did not play center field those three games does not mean that his knee was resting, as he still hit and run the bases, and the potential for making the injury worse could have occurred.

As a result of this situation, David Wright and Gary Sheffield had absolutely no choice but to play their positions during the series.

Even though they were just as exhausted as Beltran was, they did not complain of pain, even though i'm sure they were just as beat up, but just not verbalizing it, just a difference in nature.

The three of them are key to the Mets offense, no doubt, so all three bats are needed during these upcoming games, but how Jerry Manuel utilizes them as DH might be very telling.

In a perfect world of a three-game series, they each DH one game, and being that there are two consecutive series' upcoming, they should each DH a total of two games, which should help to keep them somewhat refreshed without sacrificing run production.

Wright and Beltran have both experienced recent defensive lapses, so maybe a day break from it will be helpful, at least from a mental standpoint, but both have been key to the offensive production, in both wins and losses.

I sincerely hope that Manuel does not let any one player, regardless of who it is, manipulate him and monopolize the DH role and lets the others get their fair share of having to only hit and run the bases.

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