8/28/2014 1:41 A.M. ET
Black latest Met to be dealing with neck problems
By Anthony DiComo and Teddy Cahill / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Neck injuries have recently become prevalent in the Mets' clubhouse, most recently claiming reliever Vic Black as a victim.
Black was unavailable Wednesday after undergoing an MRI on his neck, which has pained him for the better part of a week. The right-hander said he has bone spurs growing on his vertebrae in the neck, causing irritation, and a mild herniated disc in his neck. But Black does not anticipate missing more than a few days after doctors advised him he can pitch through the issues.
"I've just got some stiffness that came up in Oakland and I'm dealing with it right now," Black said. "As it pertains with getting back in a game, I think it's day to day. I've got today off and we heated it up and got some medication going, and we'll hopefully knock it out real quick so it doesn't linger."
Black is the latest Mets player to endure a bout of neck irritation, joining third baseman David Wright and outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
Left-hander Josh Edgin is also dealing with bone spurs in his shoulder, and was unavailable Wednesday. Edgin has not pitched since Saturday, leaving the Mets' bullpen shorthanded against the Braves.
The team's biggest concern, however, is Black. Though neck injuries can often be benign, some -- such as that of former closer Bobby Parnell, who had surgery last year to repair a similar issue -- hint at greater issues. Black said he experienced an identical type of pain early this season at Triple-A Las Vegas, eventually solving the issue with an extended period of rest. He believes rest alone will also cure him this time around, and while he knows he may have to undergo surgery eventually to shave his bone spurs, Black does not anticipate needing it anytime soon.
"Even twice in a season is nothing that I want to continue to deal with," he said. "But for right now I'll take care of it here, make it through the rest of the year and re-evaluate come the offseason."
Wright tests sore neck with swings in batting cage
NEW YORK -- Third baseman David Wright swung in an indoor batting cage Wednesday, testing his sore neck for the first time since the weekend. Though Wright is hopeful he can return to the Mets' lineup as soon as Thursday, he admitted that doctors have taken the choice "out of my hands."
"I don't want to set expectations for me," Wright said Wednesday afternoon. "I think it's kind of see how I feel after today, see how I feel waking up tomorrow. I'm hopeful, but by no means have we discussed it. I think they've guarded against giving me timelines because I always want to rush things."
Wright, who said earlier this week that his left shoulder is also not 100 percent, is in a 3-for-28 (.107) slide over his last eight games. He does not have an extra-base hit in 62 consecutive plate appearances and does not have a homer since July 11 -- a span of 155 straight trips to the plate.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy was also out of the lineup for a second straight day with right calf soreness. Neither Murphy nor Wright was available to pinch-hit against the Braves, though manager Terry Collins was optimistic that both could return as soon as Thursday.
Top prospects Syndergaard, Plawecki excel for Vegas
The battery of Noah Syndergaard and Kevin Plawecki, the Mets' top two prospects, according to MLB.com, combined Wednesday to lead Triple-A Las Vegas to an 8-3 victory against Round Rock. Syndergaard struck out nine batters and held the Express to one run in 6 2/3 innings, while Plawecki led the 51s offense with two home runs.
Syndergaard, ranked No. 12 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, scattered seven hits and one walk. He threw 110 pitches and picked up his first victory since July 22. His nine strikeouts were his second-highest total of the season and the most since he whiffed 10 batters May 10 against Tacoma.
With Wednesday's victory, Syndergaard improved to 9-7 with a 4.76 ERA in 25 starts this season. He also moved atop the Pacific Coast League's strikeout leaderboard, with 144 in 131 innings.
In addition to guiding Syndergaard through his start, Plawecki, No. 62 on the Top 100, went 4-for-4 at the plate. He drove in three runs and scored twice. It was his first two-homer game since Aug. 19, 2012, when he was playing for short-season Brooklyn in the New York-Penn League.
Plawecki began the season with Double-A Binghamton and earned a promotion in June. Between the two levels, he is hitting .318/.373/.475 with 11 home runs in 98 games.
• Former Mets outfielder Chris Young has found a new home. The Yankees signed Young to a Minor League deal on Wednesday, adding the veteran outfielder for the stretch run. If Young makes the team, the Yankees will pay him a pro-rated portion of the Major League minimum, subtracting that from the remainder of Young's guaranteed $7.25-million salary that the Mets still owe him. Young, 30, hit .205 with eight homers in 88 games for the Mets.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.