Manuel: I'm staying the course with the lineup for now

May, 11, 2010
5/11/10
5:24
PM ET
With the middle of the Mets' lineup struggling, Jerry Manuel says there will come a time when he will have to break up his 3-4-5 hitters, but that time is not now.

"I've had some different thoughts about it, but I still feel that we have good hitters in the middle of the lineup," Manuel said. "I believe I'm going to have to be a little patient with that. I'm going to try to do that the best that I can. I think this lineup fits us well in terms of what we are trying to accomplish, in terms of the speed.

"There will probably come a time when we might have to do something, but I don't think that time is here yet."

As for Jose Reyes, Manuel put him in third spot for the 17th time this season. Reyes maintains he has no problem with batting third. He also said at no point would he go into the manager's office to ask to be moved from third back to first. Reyes has batted leadoff 12 times this season.

Meanwhile, Jeff Francoeur, who is in the midst of a 2-for-17 (.118) homestand, said usually his struggles have come from pitch selection, but that has not been the case of late.

"I can't catch up to the fastball," Francoeur said.

Francoeur said what has been most frustrating has been the strikeout numbers. He said he didn't want to use the windy conditions at Citi as an excuse, but then he mentioned it as an excuse.

"There are no excuses, but the weather has been tough," Francoeur said. "I'm not using that as an excuse at all."

Francoeur said his pitch selection has been fine, he just hasn't been able to connect.

"I can't catch up to the fastball," Francoeur said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Francoeur was out early, taking early BP from Manuel.

Of course, David Wright has been the biggest problem. He entered Tuesday night, having struck out nine times on this homestand.
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
10 3.88 106 141
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .295
HRL. Duda 19
RBIL. Duda 60
RD. Murphy 62
OPSL. Duda .864
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 125