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08/27/07 7:38 PM ET

Notes: Lo Duca back, feeling great

Catcher in lineup after stint on DL with strained hamstring

PHILADELPHIA -- Catcher Paul Lo Duca received an ovation from a large contingent of Mets fans as he walked off the field at Citizens Bank Park before Monday's game.

It was good to be back.

"It's probably the healthiest I've been in three years," Lo Duca said. "My thumb feels great. I feel great, no excuses. I'm ready to go."

The Mets activated Lo Duca after Sunday's game and designated catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. for assignment. Alomar could possibly rejoin the Mets when the rosters expand on Saturday.

Lo Duca caught seven innings for Double-A Binghamton on Saturday and went 1-for-3 with a single. More importantly, he had no problems with his strained right hamstring, a problem which caused him to go on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 12.

In three rehabilitation games with Binghamton and Class A Brooklyn, Lo Duca was 3-for-8 with one homer and two RBIs. The hardest part for Lo Duca while he was rehabilitating was waiting patiently to return to the Mets.

"It's tough to watch games," he said. "I watched them, turned them off. But it was hard to watch."

Lo Duca started Monday's game against the Phillies and hit seventh. Ironically, his last home run came June 30 at Philadelphia off J.A. Happ.

No problem here: Closer Billy Wagner said his dead arm feels good.

After a tough week in which he gave up four runs in three innings, the All-Star reliever complained of having a dead arm. How about now?

"I feel fine," Wagner said. "That extra day just gave me a blow."

Manager Willie Randolph was taken aback when told about Wagner's dead arm issue.

"He has a dead arm?" Randolph asked. "When I talked to Billy, he said nothing about a dead arm. When I spoke to him, he said it felt great. I spoke to him [Sunday] and the day before that. He said he felt great."

Wagner basically said that getting a bonus day of rest between now and the rest of the season would help immensely. But, if needed, he could pitch on certain days where he would rather recuperate.

"You get to the point where you need an extra day to recharge and get some extra life back into it," Wagner said.

Chavez close: Outfielder Endy Chavez traveled with the club to Philadelphia and could play as early as Tuesday.

"He's ready to go and hopefully, we'll get him in [Tuesday]," Randolph said.

Chavez, who has been recovering from a strained left hamstring he suffered in June, played nine innings of Binghamton's 14-inning victory over Trenton, finishing 0-for-3 with two walks.

"Everything is good, normal," Chavez said. "I'm excited to be back. It's been a long time to get back on the field."

Randolph said he's anxious to have his fourth outfielder back as soon as possible.

"He's one of the better defensive outfielders in the game," Randolph said.

Also on the mend: Second baseman Luis Castillo was penciled in the lineup Monday after missing three straight games with a sore right knee. Castillo wore a brace on the knee for protection and added that he won't need any type of surgery.

"Maybe I need a rehab program," Castillo said. "I feel much better."

Castillo has hit safely in nine of his past 10 games with one home run and six RBIs. He has also reached base safely in his last 17 games.

Expanding the roster: The Mets will add some players when rosters expand on Saturday, but no decisions have been made on who will join the club.

"I've talked to my staff a little bit about it," general manager Omar Minaya said. "I haven't talked to Willie about it. Sometime this week, I'll talk to Willie."

Extra bases: Entering Monday's game, Jose Reyes had stolen a base in six straight games, tying a club record held by Vince Coleman. The Mets have stolen a base in 11 consecutive games, also tying a franchise record. ... David Wright is 8-for-12 with seven RBIs and seven runs scored over his last five games. ... The Mets are 18-9 in one-run games this season.

Coming up: Lefty Tom Glavine (11-6, 4.32 ERA) will start for the Mets against the Phillies' Adam Eaton (9-8, 6.36) on Tuesday. It will be the 28th start of the season for Glavine. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET.

Andy Jasner is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.