Castillo, Frenchy to bench

Manager Jerry Manuel indicated Ruben Tejada will be the every second baseman for a "period of time," essential sending Luis Castillo to the bench. Manuel added that Fernando Martinez will platoon with Jeff Francoeur, with Martinez facing right-handed pitching and therefore the bulk of the action.

"The way we've been playing we just felt we needed to change it up," GM Omar Minaya said. "Early, in the first half, we did that a little bit when Tejada came up and kind of got a little bump -- also when Ike [Davis] came up. So we figure we're going to try to do that again."

Francoeur is expected to meet with Minaya to ask about trade options, although those may be minimal. Francoeur should receive even less playing time once Jason Bay comes back, although that is not in the foreseeable future because Bay still is having concussion-related symptoms.

Tejada hit .212 earlier this season with the Mets, and finished his last stint in a 4-for-37 rut. Manuel cited a stomach ailment and Minaya cited fatigued for partially detracting from Tejada's performance.

"I think he's a good player. I think he's a smart player," Minaya said. "When you lose the games that we've been losing, you just have to try to do something different. There's nothing wrong trying something different with young players. ... This is about trying to find something different to get us to score some runs."

Said Tejada: "I'm ready."

Minaya insisted benching veterans and bringing up young players is not a white flag for this season and getting the Mets ready for 2011.

"It's always developmental when you bring the young kids up," Minaya said. "But we feel we're still in a pennant race."

Minaya said he broke the news to Alex Cora about his release personally.

"Cora's a great guy," Minaya said. "I've known him since he was a junior in high school. He's a pro. I gave him the news myself. I told him some day he's going to be sitting in my chair telling a player that you've been released, because I have all the confidence in the world that Alex Cora is going to be a general manager one day. He's a pro. He understands. The good thing for him is it's early, and I'm pretty sure there's going to be a club out there that's going to be interested in him."