PHILADELPHIA -- The best game of Juan Lagares' 36-game Major League career on Friday night didn't get him into Saturday's starting lineup -- not at all a reflection on his growing stature in Mets manager Terry Collins' eyes.
"Got lefty, lefty, lefty coming up," said Collins. "Lagares will get plenty of playing time the next three days "
The rookie earned it with three hits on Friday, including a two-run double in the sixth. Lagares added a fine running catch on the hardest play an outfielder can make -- a ball directly over his head -- to rob Carlos Ruiz with the bases loaded in the fifth inning.
"Right off the bat, I just tried to go hard," Lagares said. "I go hard to every ball, but I knew that one was over my head. I just tried to go with everything I've got."
It is a play the rookie likely would not have made earlier in the season.
"When Juan first got here, he played a little deeper than he is right now," said Collins. "I think he's getting more comfortable with playing here. He realizes, these guys, even though they're big and strong, there's going to be more balls that land in front of you instead of over your head. So he has moved in quite a bit.
"[Outfield coach] Tommy [Goodwin] has spent quite a bit of time with him to get him to understand that he can go get it over his head. And he's done a good job."
Of course, Lagares' future as an everyday player, in New York or anywhere, will depend upon his bat. Lagares, being fed a steady diet of pitches away, has been working hard in the cage on taking the ball to right field.
Since June 5, he is hitting .326 with six runs scored, five extra base hits and three RBIs.
"He certainly has the skills to be a better hitter, and I believe he will be a better hitter," Collins said. "We are trying to bring these players along. We have to put Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the same boat. Last year, he saved us for two months. We need to get him in there and look at Eric Young to see if he is going to be the guy we leave in that leadoff spot.
"You want to play these guys every day, but there is nothing wrong with trying to get your other guys in there every once in a while."
Duda placed on DL; Lutz called up
PHILADELPHIA -- Lucas Duda was placed on the 15-day DL with a left intercostal strain on Saturday, and the Mets called up infielder Zach Lutz.
After complaining of discomfort following Friday night's victory over the Phillies, Duda returned to New York Saturday morning to undergo an MRI on his left side.
Other than saying he didn't believe Duda suffered the injury sliding under Carlos Ruiz's tag for a run in the sixth inning, Mets manager Terry Collins said he did not know how Duda was hurt. But Duda was in enough pain to warrant a medical evaluation.
"Similar situation that we had with Justin Turner," said Collins. "These things can get bad."
Turner was placed on the DL on Tuesday with an intercostal strain.
With Duda out, Collins moved Daniel Murphy to first base on Saturday and inserted Jordany Valdespin at second.
"Today, [Jonathan Pettibone] is pitching, lefties are hitting him pretty good, so I wanted to get Valdespin in there and Murph at first," Collins said.
Reversed call has Collins favoring more replay
PHILADELPHIA -- All second-base umpire Adrian Johnson was trying to do Friday night in the ninth inning, when he reversed himself after originally ruling Eric Young Jr. safe at second, was get the call correct.
When Johnson changed his mind, Jimmy Rollins' relay to first off Daniel Murphy's grounder created a double play, brining the Mets manager out of the dugout.
"He just said he called it too soon and wanted to get the play right," said Collins. "[But] if you are going to change calls, how about a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded, when the umpire [gets fooled]? I understand, I do. I just hadn't seen that before."
Collins was not ejected and the Mets won the game regardless, but the manager made a larger point in favor of an expansion of instant replay.
"I know one thing," Collins said. "By the time I got out there and come back, they could have looked at a replay. Adrian Johnson is one of the finest guys you will ever meet in your whole life. You just feel bad [his crew is] catching all this heat."
Jay Greenberg is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.