The Mets are saying Carlos Beltran played in an extended spring training game and went 2-for-6, but he did not run the bases. Basically, this amounted to a live batting practice.
Expect second baseman Luis Castillo to be placed on the disabled list prior to tonight’s game against Florida. In compensating for a bone bruise to his left heel, Castillo has developed problems with his right leg.
This hasn’t been played out well at all. Castillo has been bothered by the bone bruise for several weeks now and only aggravates it when he plays. Had he gone on the DL weeks ago, he might be back and ready to play by now.
Ruben Tejada, who impressed the Mets during spring training, has been hitting better at Class AAA Buffalo and would be the likely call-up.
The Mets will also activate Jon Niese from the disabled list (hamstring) and he will start Saturday against the Marlins. Unless the Mets can convince Oliver Perez to take a minor league assignment, the Mets will have to option somebody to the minors. The choices are Elmer Dessens, Jenrry Mejia and Ryota Igarashi, the latter who has not pitched well since coming off the disabled list.
Based solely on recent performance, Igarashi should be the odd man out, but things don’t always work that way. Dessens was the last pitcher brought in and manager Jerry Manuel wants to try him as the eighth-inning set-up man.
The Mets have said they would not send Mejia down to stretch him out to become a starter, but that situation might have changed.
The ultimate irony: Perez holds his ground and the Mets option out Mejia. Then weeks later Mejia is brought back as a starter, and to make room for him Perez is cut.
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.’’
The last time the streaky Mets won four straight games this season, they went on to win eight in a row.
The Mets, who won two of three games over the weekend against the Yankees, will be going after their second straight series win tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Hisanori Takahashi, who replaced the injured Jon Niese in the rotation, threw six scoreless innings in a no-decision last Friday against the Yankees.
The left-handed Takahashi made the club out of spring training because of his ability to work in long relief. He so impressed in that role that he was the first choice when Niese went down.
The Mets lost three-fifths of their rotation during the last road trip, but received Takahashi’s strong game and two strong games by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.
Dickey threw six scoreless innings last night in arguably the Mets’ most complete game of the season.
The Mets are starting to feel good about themselves because of Jason Bay and Jose Reyes, both of whom struggled out of the gate, could be hitting their strides.
Over the last five games, Bay is 11-for-20 (.550) with two homers, five RBI and eight runs scored. In that same span, Reyes is 9-for-24 (.375) with five runs scored.
Reyes is coming off this best game of the season last night, when he went 3-for-5 – including a triple – two stolen bases and three runs scored in the rout of the Phillies. One of those hits was off a bunt.
“I can’t wait to get on base two or three times a game,’’ Reyes said. “My legs feel so good now.’’
After undergoing surgery to replace a torn hamstring tendon, and missing most of spring training with a thyroid issue, Reyes as struggled for much of the season. His legs missed that strong push-off step and he looked lost batting third and developed a noticeable uppercut in his swing.
The result was a .275 on-base percentage.