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7/12/2013 8:35 P.M. ET

d'Arnaud doing everything but playing in games

PITTSBURGH -- Mets manager Terry Collins said Travis d'Arnaud is doing everything in his rehab but playing -- the product of a broken bone in his left foot suffered in April.

"He's hitting. He's throwing. He's catching in the [bullpen]," Collins said. "He's doing everything except playing right now."

d'Arnaud, the club's top prospect, was cleared to begin a rehab assignment in early June. The only thing slowing his return is running the bases.

The catcher was acquired from Toronto in the deal that sent R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays this past winter. d'Arnaud hit .250/.429/.472 with one home run and eight RBIs in 49 plate appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas before the injury.

Starter Jon Niese, on the other hand, is still a ways off. Collins doesn't have any timetable for the lefty's return to the team, but Niese has begun throwing long toss in Port St. Lucie, Fla., to strengthen his shoulder. He was placed on the disabled list on June 21 and is working back from a rotator cuff injury.

Reliever Frank Francisco is back on the field with the GCL Mets. He threw one inning Friday, but Collins didn't have an update on him, either. Francisco has had ongoing elbow issues this season after offseason surgery and hasn't pitched since he made five appearances for the Class A Port St. Lucie Mets in late April and early May.

"I have no idea," Collins said of Francisco. "Tomorrow brings a new chapter."

Wright pleased to add Alvarez to Derby team

PITTSBURGH -- David Wright can't make everyone happy. With only three other spots on the National League team in the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby, the NL captain had some difficult decisions to make.

The Mets' third baseman went with Carlos Gonzalez, Bryce Harper and Michael Cuddyer originally, leaving fans from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, among others, unhappy. But Gonzalez pulled out because of a finger injury, so Wright appeased the Steel City faithful by replacing him with Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez.

Alvarez ranks second in the NL in homers. He was born in the Dominican Republic, but grew up in Manhattan.

"After talking to him, I knew how excited he was and how much he wanted to do this," Wright said. "I'm glad he was next in line for me to ask. Twenty-three or 24 homers doesn't hurt, either. And then on top of that, being from New York, I think it was an excellent choice -- to pat myself on the back.

"I mean, no matter what you do, there's going to be somebody that's unhappy. There's going to be a city that's unhappy. But I thought Pedro was very deserving. He was very deserving from the start. I just didn't have enough spots."

Mets have inked 23 of their 41 Draft picks

PITTSBURGH -- The First-Year Player Draft signing deadline has come and gone earlier than in years past, but the Mets haven't had to worry about their top picks for a few weeks.

The club signed first-round selection Dominic Smith, a high school first baseman out of Los Angeles, and second-rounder Andrew Church, a right-handed pitcher from Henderson, Nev., on June 19. Baseball's new Collective Bargaining Agreement pushed the signing deadline up from August to July.

The Mets signed each of the nine players they selected in Rounds 1-8, but neither player picked in Rounds 9-10. In all, New York inked 23 players -- 13 right-handed pitchers, six infielders, three outfielders and a catcher -- after drafting 41.

Worth noting

• Matt Harvey will not start the Mets' first game out of the All-Star break, Collins said Friday. He was scratched from his Saturday start against the Pirates because of a blister on his right index finger, and Collins said Wednesday the club will limit his innings the rest of the season. Harvey threw a bullpen Thursday and will still be available for Tuesday's All-Star Game at Citi Field.

• Collins said Anthony Recker started at catcher Friday because he's caught starter Jeremy Hefner's last four outings, and the righty is 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA in that time. Recker has started five of the team's last 10 games after seeing little action earlier in the season. Collins said Recker's Friday start wasn't an indication that he'll start two of three games in the series over John Buck.

• Mets righty Estarlin Morel has been suspended 25 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The 23-year-old, currently with Class A Savannah, has a 3.76 ERA and a .278 batting average against in 24 appearances between Port St. Lucie and Savannah this season.

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.