NEW YORK -- The Mets are still waiting for Ike Davis to find a rhythm at the plate. As they do so, though, it's been hard to keep Josh Satin out of the lineup. Satin replaced Davis at first base after Davis was sent to Triple-A Las Vegas, and he thrived.
So now that Davis is back, the Mets are essentially employing a platoon at first base, at least until Davis starts to hit consistently. Satin got the nod at first base against the left-handed Cole Hamels on Saturday, and is likely to start against Cliff Lee, another southpaw, on Sunday.
"This guy has earned a chance to play against lefties," manager Terry Collins said, "so he's going to play."
Satin is hitting .448 against lefties this season, with seven doubles and five RBIs. He also has a .543 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching.
Davis, meanwhile, continues to struggle, hitting .171 with a .259 on-base percentage. In nine games since being recalled from Las Vegas, he is 7-for-30.
"Certainly, in Ike's case, you'd like to get him out there every day to see what he can do," Collins said, "but the testing ground was the first half."
The Mets will face right-handed starters in the first three games of their four-game series against the Braves next week. Collins said that's when they'll get Davis back in the lineup.
New York wants Davis to get at-bats so he can iron out his issues at the plate and hit consistently, but the team benefits too much from having Satin's hot bat in the lineup.
"Ike's going to have to continue to work," Collins said, "and work hard."
Buck gets a day of rest after cramping on Friday
NEW YORK -- Manager Terry Collins put catcher Anthony Recker in the starting lineup against the Phillies on Saturday, giving John Buck a rest after he cramped up during Friday night's game.
During his at-bat in the eighth inning, Buck felt a cramp after a swing-and-miss. Collins and a trainer went out to check on Buck, who stayed in. Buck said after the game that he felt fine, and that he would try to convince Collins to put him in Saturday's lineup, but knew that likely wouldn't happen.
He was right.
"I'm a little leery sometimes, when the cramping starts. I make sure they have 24 hours, get some fluids in," Collins said. "That's why I decided to catch Recker. I'll catch John again tomorrow."
Buck did feel the cramping slightly when he tried to block a ball behind the plate in the top of the ninth inning but said that the pain was "slight."
After struggling for such a long stretch after beginning the season with a torrid April, Buck started to heat up during the Mets' final road trip before the All-Star break. He's hit in his last seven games, going 11-for-30 over that stretch. He's also driven in nine runs over that span.
Collins said that Buck is letting pitches get a little deeper in the strike zone, which allows him to keep his head on the ball and drive it to all fields.
Buck said that much of his recent success comes down to just laying off bad pitches.
"I'm having good at-bats, swinging at good pitches," he said. "I think the main thing is, I'm hitting pitches that are hittable rather than trying to do too much with something that isn't a hittable pitch."
Young making the most of chance to play every day
NEW YORK -- For the first time since he's been in the Major Leagues, Eric Young Jr. is getting the chance to play every day. In the process he's given New York the type of leadoff hitter it lacked through the early part of the season, getting on base consistently and taking an aggressive approach on the basepaths.
After being hit by a pitch in his first at-bat of Friday night's 13-8 loss to the Phillies, Young stole second. He wanted to show the Phillies that the Mets weren't simply going to "roll over" after Philadelphia took a four-run lead in the top of the first inning, and he made sure he put himself in the best position to score.
"You don't want to necessarily force anything, because that's when you make bad decisions," Young said. "In that situation I wanted to make sure I get in scoring position and get in the best possible position for our middle of the order to try and knock me in."
But after Young advanced on Daniel Murphy's flyout to left field, giving the Mets had a runner at third with one out, Philadelphia starter Kyle Kendrick struck out the next two hitters to get out of the inning.
Since being acquired in a trade with the Rockies on June 18, Young is hitting .300 with 10 RBIs in 25 games. He has a .381 on-base percentage and nine stolen bases in that span.
Young has made the most of his opportunity to be in the lineup on an everyday basis. Colorado turned him into a role player, but being a starter is what he's always wanted.
"This is what I did throughout the Minor Leagues," he said. "I played every day. I never really was a big numbers guy. I know if you get the at-bats, [if] you get the playing time, the numbers are going to be there at the end of the season."
In situations such as Friday night's first inning, he's proved to the Mets that he belongs in the leadoff spot regularly. His versatility has also helpeds, as he's played both center and left field, and second base.
"I guess it makes me a more dynamic player, being able to play all those," Young said. "I'm sure it makes it easier for [manager] Terry [Collins] when he does his lineup card. He can move me around to accommodate those other guys."
Mets to celebrate Doc with bobblehead giveaway Sunday
NEW YORK -- Dwight Gooden will be celebrated before Sunday's game against the Phillies, as New York will be giving away Gooden bobbleheads courtesy of Gold's Horseradish to the first 25,000 fans who arrive at Citi Field.
Gooden, who went 157-85 for the Mets from 1984 through 1994, will also be signing copies of his book "Doc: A Memoir" outside the Mets Team Store in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda from noon until 1 p.m. ET.
Gooden represented the Mets at several events during All-Star week, including a field renovation in the Rockaways and a little league game for special needs children at Citi Field.
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.