Mets set rotation for first post-break series
Niese could start July 21 vs. Mariners after Colon, Gee, Wheeler face Padres
NEW YORK -- When the Mets reconvene in San Diego after the All-Star break for a three-game series with the Padres, a trio of right-handers will get the ball, according to manager Terry Collins. Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler -- in that order -- will make their first starts of the second half during that first weekend. Jon Niese appears on track to join them shortly thereafter.
Colon will go on eight days' rest, while Gee has 10 days between starts to prepare for his second outing since returning from the disabled list, and Wheeler gets nine days off.
"I didn't think it was that deep [of a thought process]," Collins said. "After that will be determined by the health of some guys."
Specifically, the Mets are waiting to see how Niese rebounds during a stint on the DL for his tired left shoulder. Niese worked out Sunday, throwing 21 pitches, sitting down for a while, then throwing 17 more to simulate a more game-like rhythm.
"It's good, felt good," Niese said. "Little rusty at the beginning, but I was able to get loose off the mound and was able to cut loose, so it felt good."
He will throw again Friday in San Diego and could start July 21 -- the date he previously pegged for a return -- against the Mariners, through that is not official.
That leaves two pitchers, Jacob deGrom and Daisuke Matsuzaka, for one more spot. After deGrom limited the Marlins to one run over seven innings on Sunday -- lowering his career ERA to 3.18 and his ERA over his last five starts to 1.65 -- Collins said deGrom will not be removed from the rotation. For now.
"But we might look up in a month where he is starting to run out of gas a little bit to where we have to make a decision," Collins said.
deGrom has thrown 112 innings this season, giving him plenty of breathing room before approaching the target of 185 innings, mentioned by general manager Sandy Alderson last week.
If deGrom indeed rounds out the rotation to open the second half, July 22 -- two days after Wheeler pitches -- is the practical date for his next start.
"One of the things we did talk about is we probably, if Jake's going to be in the mix, we wanted to split those two guys up, Wheeler and deGrom," Collins said. "They're somewhat similar guys, so we wanted to split them up."
Wright gets planned cortisone shot for shoulder
NEW YORK -- David Wright gave no indication on the field Sunday that his left shoulder is still bothering him, as he doubled twice, drove in a pair of runs and even robbed Miami's Donovan Solano of a single in the eighth inning with a diving stop.
After the game, though, the Mets' captain received a cortisone shot in that shoulder, which caused him to miss eight games June 27-July 4 with what the team called a bruised rotator cuff.
"It was planned," Wright said of the shot. "They wanted to see how it went these last 10 days, and hopefully it'll help out with the break."
Between returning last weekend and getting the shot Sunday afternoon, Wright swung the bat as well as he has at any point this season. He batted .364 with a .447 on-base percentage, plus two homers, four doubles and seven RBIs in nine games.
"I think it was the fact that his shoulder feels better and the fact he had [eight] days' rest," said manager Terry Collins. "These guys play tired, they play every day tired. And when you get a few days where you can get your energy back, it's a big difference.
"When he got back, I bet his shoulder is not 100 percent. ... The way he plays, it's going to continue to be aggravated a little bit, but I think the rest helped him. He's starting to swing the bat like we know he can."
The cortisone shot should ease that aggravation. It's well timed, too, since Wright has four days off during the All-Star break to let it take effect. Players typically need a couple of down days upon receiving the shot.
That fact that Wright got that treatment, though, indicates the shoulder is indeed a work in progress. Not that he wants to talk about it.
"Enough about the shoulder," Wright told curious reporters. "If you guys have baseball questions, we'll talk baseball questions. But the shoulder is not an issue."
• Collins said the Mets will not work out in San Diego on Thursday, giving the players four full days off. He added that former Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel told Collins he used that tactic last year, and the Phillies came back fresher than they typically did after the All-Star break.
• The Mets still have no plans to balance out the number of position players on the roster. They have carried six outfielders, four infielders and the versatile Eric Campbell since June 26, but Collins insisted he doesn't feel restricted.
"I don't know how we have any other options except continue with what we've got," Collins said.
• Wilmer Flores watch: In 18 games through Saturday, the 22-year-old infielder is hitting .356/.380/.726 with seven homers, six doubles and 28 RBIs with Triple-A Las Vegas. He is riding a 17-game hit streak since an 0-for-5 effort in his first game back.
• Catcher Taylor Teagarden, who is recovering from a strained left hamstring, went 0-for-1 with a strikeout and a walk for the Gulf Coast League Mets on Saturday, the first game of his rehab assignment.
Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.