NEW YORK -- Though no date is set, injured Mets third baseman David Wright continues to inch toward a return. Wright played all nine innings in the field Monday evening for Class A St. Lucie, finishing 3-for-6 at the plate, and is scheduled to participate in three additional full games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
"We have nothing etched in stone," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Wright's return, "but we're looking toward the weekend."
Rehabbing from a stress fracture in his lower back, Wright is nearly certain to rejoin the Mets at some point in Miami, possibly as soon as Friday. He hit .226 with six home runs in 39 games prior to landing on the disabled list, playing many of those contests with discomfort in his back.
Through four rehab games in St. Lucie, Wright is batting .400 with two doubles and four singles in 15 at-bats.
"He's not as sore or stiff as he thought he was going to be," Collins said. "Each game, he's seeing the ball better. He's feeling more comfortable."
Sick Beltran misses third consecutive game
NEW YORK -- Batting a stomach virus for the past three days, Carlos Beltran nonetheless stood in the dugout Monday evening, holding a bat while the Mets threatened against the Marlins.
The late rally wilted and his chance never came. But Beltran, despite battling a fever that he claims reached 105 degrees over the weekend, expects to return to the lineup on Tuesday.
"I came to the ballpark with a little more energy than the past couple days," he said Monday night. "I'm just hoping tomorrow to feel better than what I felt today and be in the lineup."
Since Saturday, Beltran noted, he has experienced difficulty simply getting out of bed.
"Every joint hurts," he said. "It's been terrible. Fever three nights in a row. [Monday] was the first day where I felt able to do things related to baseball."
So he did. Beltran took batting practice for the first time in three days, assuring manager Terry Collins that he could pinch-hit if necessary. He visited a doctor for precautionary testing earlier Monday, after receiving fluids over the weekend.
Barring a setback, Beltran -- who is batting .287 with 14 homers and 59 RBIs this season -- expects to be in the starting lineup on Tuesday.
In his absence Monday, Scott Hairston played right field and hit cleanup against the Marlins, with Daniel Murphy shifting up to the third spot in the lineup. But Hairston became the team's latest injury casualty in the game's opening moments, departing after two innings.
If nothing else, Beltran's medical episode may delay updates for those seeking a resolution on his future with the Mets. Given the outfielder's production and his team's double-digit deficit in the National League East, Beltran's name has come up increasingly often in recent trade rumors.
"The thing that makes it somewhat easy is the way this guy approaches it," Collins said. "He knows it's part of the game. He knows it may happen. He has said to me many times, 'I want to stay here. I want to help this team win as many games as I can. I came here to be a Met. I came here to help this team win, but I know I may get traded, so it's part of the business.' But he doesn't let it affect the way he goes about things.
Hairston leaves early with bruised shin
NEW YORK -- A recent savior of sorts for the Mets, outfielder Scott Hairston has become the team's latest injury casualty, leaving Monday's 4-1 loss to the Marlins after two innings with a left shin contusion. X-rays were negative, and the club listed Hairston as day-to-day.
"He's got a real bad bruise on the top of his foot," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He didn't think he could run, so we got him out."
Fouling a ball off his shin during his first plate appearance Monday, Hairston completed the at-bat by grounding a ball to shortstop and limping to first base. He stayed in the game for another half-inning on defense, but did not return to the first with his Mets teammates for the top of the third.
Lucas Duda shifted from first base to right field to replace Hairston, with Nick Evans entering the game at first.
In the lineup due to regular right fielder Carlos Beltran's illness, Hairston is hitting .264 this season with five home runs in 91 at-bats. He was 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs in his lone start against the Phillies last weekend.
The Mets expect Beltran to return to the lineup on Tuesday.
Mets sign outfielder Perez, lefty Chacin
NEW YORK -- The Mets on Monday announced the signings of outfielder Fernando Perez and left-handed pitcher Gustavo Chacin, assigning both players to Triple-A Buffalo.
Perez, 28, hit .238 with three home runs in 76 games earlier this season with Triple-A Iowa, a Cubs affiliate. He is a career .276 hitter with a .358 on-base percentage over parts of eight Minor League seasons, hitting .234 over 41 big league games with the Rays in 2008-09.
Chacin, 30, was 3-6 with a 5.13 ERA in 27 games earlier this season for Triple-A Oklahoma City, an Astros affiliate. Spending most of last season as a reliever with Houston, Chacin made his mark in the big leagues as a 25-year-old rookie in 2005, finishing 13-9 with a 3.72 ERA in 203 innings.