Now playing left field: Jon Niese

With zero position players remaining on the Mets bench, David Wright was ejected in the ninth inning Sunday for arguing balls and strikes.

Asked what his plans were had the Mets forced a 10th inning, manager Jerry Manuel said simply: “I don’t know.”

But he did know. After Wright’s ejection, Manuel told Jonathon Niese — who last played the outfield in high school — to grab a glove and prepare to play left field.

“So I was getting ready,” Niese said.

More of a mystery was which outfielder was going to play third base. Though Manuel did not instruct any of his outfielders to prepare, the rumblings on the bench were that Jason Bay — a former college third baseman — would have shifted over to the position.

“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” Bay said. “I might have needed to borrow a glove. And a cup.”

But he might have had competition for the position. Angel Pagan, who regularly played shortstop as a teenager, said he was considering offering up his services at third base.

“I can still do it a little bit,” Pagan said. “If they put me in there, I would have tried to do the best I could. I’d knock the balls down with my chest or something.”


Speaking of substitution problems, I feel the Mets weak link is definitely their bench these days. They do not have any consistent hitters for Manuel to go to late in games, only role players and defensive substitutes. It would seem that Chris Carter or Nick Evans would be a good bat to have for late in the game, or even Mike Hessman. I know versatility is good to have on the bench, but you can’t win games if you can’t score runs. Your thoughts??

I thoroughly agree with you. It’s obvious that Matthews is pretty much a stiff with a bat these days. Evans has proven he can handle the role as a defensive replacement as well as a capable bat off the bench, or even start to spell Ike or Bay if necessary.

I’ll third that. The bench must be improved by the trade deadline. Matthews is producing outs at a prodigious rate. Tatis likewise. Cora is a keeper. Sure Pagan gets moved to the bench when Beltran returns, but we aren’t counting on Beltran are we now?!

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