Jun 22

Beltran to begin rehab games.

BELTRAN: Getting closer.

The clock is about to start for Carlos Beltran, who has been running the bases in extended spring training games. The next step is minor league rehab games, and GM Omar Minaya said today that will be Thursday in Port St. Lucie.

Once the rehab games begin Beltran has a 20-day window to return to the Mets. That would be after the All-Star break. If the window expires and Beltran isn’t ready, the Mets would need his permission to stay in the minors.

As of now, both Beltran and the Mets see the player as a center fielder, which would mean a platoon role for Angel Pagan.

The club also announced John Maine will seek a second opinion on his shoulder.  Based on his contractual status the Mets don’t need Maine’s permission to go to the minor leagues.

Jun 16

Maine might need more time.

MAINE: Not ready yet.

Jerry Manuel is saying John Maine might need another rehab start after Friday night, which probably isn’t a bad idea considering he was clocked at 88 mph. in his last outing.

When Maine comes back he would most likely come back as a starter because Manuel fears his shoulder might not be able to handle the up-and-down nature of the bullpen.

Several years ago the Mets once toyed with the idea of moving Maine to the bullpen but resisted.

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Word is Carlos Beltran is running with a limp, which still delays the timetable on his return.

Once Beltran moves from extended spring training games to a minor league rehab assignment the clock will start and the Mets would have 20 days to activate him.

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NOTES: Luis Castillo is taking ground balls in Port St. Lucie and might be activated for the Yankees series at the Stadium this weekend. … With the Mets facing righthanded pitching until Sunday look for Chris Carter to remain as the DH.

Jun 02

Mets Chat Room: Santana lacking run support.

Game #54 at Padres

In those no-decisions, the Mets gifted a total of five runs. Santana had two other no-decisions in games the Mets won, but they were one-run victories with the winning run scored after he left the game.

Coupled with Mike Pelfrey, the Mets could have one of the best one-two punches in the game.

“With the 1-2 punch of Johan and Mike, I mean, it gives us a good chance to win two out of every five days,’’ said David Wright. “You know that when those two guys take the mound they’re going to give everything they have and keep you in the ballgame. They expect to pitch deep in the game and dominate.’’

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Apr 07

April 7.10: Expect pat lineup tonight; Reyes close.

Jerry Manuel said after the Opening Day victory he planned on making no changes with the line-up, which would mean another start for Alex Cora at shortstop and Mike Jacobs hitting clean-up.

Of course, that means changes across the board.

Said Jacobs of going 0-for-4: “My first day hitting in this stadium, obviously in a game, I didn’t pick up the ball real well. As the game went on, it got a little better. But you just chalk it up to just first day and hopefully a lot more days left.’’

Still, I’d rather they go David Wright-Jason Bay in the 3-4 slots, with Jacobs fifth and Jeff Francoeur sixth.

I also don’t have a problem with Cora playing. He usually does the right thing.

Manuel did say he’d try to get all the position players in games during this homestand to make sure everybody gets involved. If you’re selling the concept of “team,’’ then everybody should play.

REYES UPDATE: The news continues to be positive for shortstop Jose Reyes, who reached base four times with two hits and two walks last night in an extended spring training game in Port St. Lucie. Reyes played nine innings of defense.

The Mets believe he will return as scheduled from the disabled list Saturday against Washington.

Reyes started the season on the DL due to a thyroid condition. He missed most of last season with a hamstring injury.

TONIGHT’S STARTER: John Maine, 1-3 with a 7.88 ERA during spring training, will start tonight. I’ll have something on Maine later today.

CHAT ROOM: Don’t forget, I’ll host another Mets Chat Room during tonight’s game. Hope to see you online.