NEW YORK -- While shortstops Ruben Tejada and Ronny Cedeno continue rehab and running programs to return from the disabled list, Omar Quintanilla continues to impress. And manager Terry Collins admits he knew little about the 30-year-old before his arrival in New York.
"I just talked to [Triple-A Buffalo manager Wally Backman] enough and he said, 'If you ever need a defensive shortstop, we've got one,'" Collins said. "That's enough of a recommendation for me."
Quintanilla, who is playing with a small fracture in his left index figure, started the past 10 games for the Mets entering Saturday's matchup with the Yankees in the Bronx. Tejada is supposed to resume his rehab Monday in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and Cedeno is supposed to push himself on the basepaths Sunday.
Quintanilla, meanwhile, has been hitting eighth or ninth in the batting order and entered Saturday with a .321 average, four doubles and seven runs scored. He doubled in the sixth inning Friday to break up Hiroki Kuroda's no-hit bid, then walked and scored the Mets' only run in the ninth.
"In his spot [in the lineup], if he hits, that's a plus, that's extra," Collins said. "I want him to catch the baseball. I want him to go out there behind the pitching staff and make the routine play, and he's done that. If he hits, that's a plus."
Mets looking for Davis to take power approach
NEW YORK -- Ike Davis changed his batting-practice approach in an attempt to break out of a persisting season-long slump, and the results showed when Davis took a "tremendous" early batting practice Saturday at Yankee Stadium, according to manager Terry Collins.
"He's not a singles hitter," Collins said about Davis. "That's what I thought we tried to do to him in Toronto and Pittsburgh. I thought we tried to make him into something he wasn't. I want him to get in the batter's box, and I want him to stay aggressive, and I want him to get a good swing on the ball.
"He's going to make a career here driving in runs, not getting on base and scoring runs. His batting practices have been adjusted to 'Let's work on getting the bat out in front and try to hit the ball [into] the seats.'"
The first baseman entered Saturday having gone deep five times this season with 21 RBIs in 56 games after hitting seven homers and driving in 25 runs in only 36 games last season. He debuted in 2010 -- a year and a half after the Mets drafted him 18th overall out of Arizona State -- and hit 19 home runs with 71 RBIs and a .262 average.
Collins maintained the Mets want the 25-year-old in the big leagues as he attempts to get his bat going. He takes advice from everybody, Collins said, which could be overwhelming, with input coming from every direction.
Davis was in the lineup and hitting sixth Saturday against Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes, and Collins said the left-handed hitter could remain in the lineup Sunday against lefty Andy Pettitte if he shows signs of coming to life.
"This is the first time he's really failed. This is the first time he's had to deal with tremendous adversity," Collins said. "The game's been somewhat easy for him; he's that talented. One of the things that's going to make him a good Major League player is to learn how to get through this."
Collins believes Torres' presence key
NEW YORK -- Andres Torres was in the Mets' lineup Saturday against the Yankees and hitting second against right-hander Phil Hughes, despite the switch-hitter's struggles this season from the left side of the plate.
The center fielder has only 13 hits in 76 at-bats against right-handers, and 11 hits in 35 at-bats against left-handers, but manager Terry Collins likes the speedster atop his lineup, and that was enough to start him against a righty.
Torres is a .238 career hitter from the left side against right-handers, and a .252 career hitter from the right side against left-handers. He has 61 doubles, 14 triples and 21 homers left-handed, compared to 23, 9 and seven right-handed, but that is in more than twice as many at-bats.
"We've got to get him to start using the field a little bit more, let his speed come into play, let those legs work for him," Collins said. "He's one of those guys that has just enough power to be dangerous at times. When he slaps the ball around and gets on base, he scores. I told the guys last night, 'We have to get him in there, because when he gets on, we win baseball games.'"
Steven Miller is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.