7/5/2014 11:51 P.M. ET
Mets get their captain back in the lineup
By Jake Kring-Schreifels / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Rain prevented David Wright from working out and playing on Friday against the Rangers, but Mother Nature was kinder on Saturday afternoon.
Cycling through a range of ground balls and defensive movements, Wright, after missing seven games, was inserted back into the Mets' lineup, hitting third.
Wright finished 1-4 with a double to left-center, making sure to slide into second feet first, a practice he'll adopt to keep from re-injuring his shoulder.
In the seventh, Carlos Pena robbed him of a hit, diving to his right to snag a one-hop liner.
Wright appeared to have no issues in the field, either, charging on an Adrian Beltre tapper and making a nice off-balance throw to first in the fifth inning.
Wright hadn't played since June 26, rehabbing a sore left rotator cuff that he felt was ready to be tested.
"The only thing I can go by is how I feel," said Wright before the game, "and I feel like I can hit, throw and field, and that's a good feeling considering what it felt like a week ago.
"[I] hit yesterday, threw yesterday, but again -- it's my non-throwing shoulder, so the big thing today was going side to side on ground balls, having to extend yourself. It's still kind of limited as far as game-type speed, but it's the best you can do to simulate it, and it went well."
The Mets decided not to put Wright on the disabled list, which would have kept him out another week. That meant having a shorthanded bench, something Wright knows was a burden for his club.
"I appreciate these guys sticking with me, because as we mentioned yesterday, it's difficult to play in general and then with a man down," said Wright. "It definitely limits the things you can do on a daily basis. But for them to stick with it this week, it's been tough on the guys, tough on the coaching staff. I appreciate the opportunity."
Wright visited with doctors and physical therapists every day over the last week, but manager Terry Collins wanted to make sure his slugger was tested on the field before penciling him back into the three-hole.
"There were some movements I wanted to see, how he felt after certain movements," said Collins. "There's no discomfort, no hesitation, so I feel comfortable that he's in there."
The biggest concern for Wright is avoiding any further aggravation. That means he'll continue to avoid sliding head-first on the bases, like he did on Saturday night.
"You can't think about that, you just do it," he said. "You go out there, you just keep going at game speed, and you just get caught up in doing what you're doing. It's completely different when you're running full speed from first to second, diving, as opposed to one step and dive. So I think that hopefully it won't be an issue."
Collins is hopeful but realizes those kinds of instinctual reactions are parts of the game players can't avoid.
"If you dive and you jam your shoulder, you jam your shoulder," said Collins. "Whether you're just coming off a shoulder that's been bothering you for a week doesn't mean it's not good. You can hurt it again, that's just sports."
Collins not rushing a decision on Gee
NEW YORK -- Dillon Gee's rehab assignment with Class A Brooklyn on Friday night went very well. The righty tossed 75 pitches in six innings, allowing one run on three hits and striking out 10.
Gee, who hasn't pitched since May 11 because of a strained right lat, may feel ready to come back to the Mets, but manager Terry Collins will take until at least Sunday to determine his return.
"He's going to throw a bullpen tomorrow, and after tomorrow we will make a decision when he's going to pitch again," said Collins.
That could mean that Gee, who hit the disabled list with a 3-1 record and 2.73 ERA, could return before the All-Star break for a start at home unless Collins feels he needs more time.
"You might want him to throw some more," said Collins about waiting until after the break to bring back Gee. "Tomorrow we'll make the decision about when he's going to pitch. He could pitch next week here, it could be trying to get to 100 pitches someplace else."
No matter when Gee returns, the Mets will have to make a corresponding move to make room on the active roster. That may mean optioning fill-in starter Daisuke Matsuzaka back to Triple-A Las Vegas.
"We certainly don't plan on [using Matsuzaka out of the bullpen]," said Collins. "I know this guy will give us what we need to have. He's done it before. He did it in Anaheim when we were short, even though he was getting knocked around. He came in and said, 'I'll give you seven innings tonight,' which is just how he is."
Whomever is chosen, the decision should be difficult, especially if it's a member of the bullpen. Mets relievers have allowed 11 earned runs over the last 59 1/3 innings (1.67 ERA) and rank sixth in the Majors with a 3.12 ERA.
Friday night was no exception, as Carlos Torres, Vic Black, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia combined for 26 outs when starter Jon Niese had to exit for precautionary reasons after taking a line drive to the back.
Trip to disabled list may be in Niese's future
NEW YORK -- Any optimism that left-hander Jon Niese would be making his next regularly scheduled start despite being hit by a liner on Friday has been muted.
The Mets expect to make an announcement on Sunday in regard to possibly placing Niese on the disabled list with a shoulder injury, as first reported by Adam Rubin of ESPN. The Mets have not confirmed the report.
"There's a possibility," said manager Terry Collins when asked about the likelihood of that happening. "We'll make the announcement tomorrow. We're going to wait to see how ... he and Dillon [Gee] are doing tomorrow."
Niese declined to comment after Saturday's game, a 5-3 loss to the Rangers.
Right around the start of Saturday's contest, the Mets announced via Twitter that right-hander Buddy Carlyle was on his way to New York but gave no indication why.
Carlyle has only made two appearances for the Mets this season, the last on June 4 against the Cubs. He has been shaky in his last eight games for Triple-A Las Vegas, allowing four home runs over nine innings.
The news comes after Niese was hit with a line drive in the first inning on Friday and subsequently pulled as a precaution. Niese indicated that he would prefer to move his next start up, as he threw just 12 pitches, and X-rays were negative.
But it now seems possible that Collins knew something more.
"[An accelerated start is] probably not going to happen right now, but that's why I love Jon Niese," said Terry Collins before Saturday's game. "He wants to be out there, and he wants to pitch, and he knows, if we're going to win, he's got to pitch good. I salute him, but we're probably going to be careful of doing too much."
Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.