David Wright had two doubles and two RBIs in five at-bats in his return and the Mets defeated the Florida Marlins, 7-6, on Friday night. Wright, playing his first game since May 15, indicated his back felt fine. He was only uncomfortable doing the attention-drawing hand gestures his teammates perform after producing a hit.
"These guys are doing that goofy hand thing to the dugout," Wright said. "I'm a little in between on that. I don't want to do that, but they're kind of making me. I just feel a little awkward doing it."
Saturday's news reports:
• A source tells ESPNNewYork.com that Johan Santana's first minor league rehab game is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday. Santana, who is in Miami this weekend and attended Friday's Mets-Marlins game, is due to throw a bullpen session Sunday for Mets staff. After that, team brass will huddle to ensure Santana is ready for the minor league game. If Santana begins a rehab assignment Wednesday, that begins a maximum 30-day clock for his return to the majors. Santana threw a 43-pitch, three-inning simulated game Friday in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Read more in Newsday.
• Mike Pelfrey, staked to a 3-0 lead after a half-inning, received a no-decision. He allowed four runs in six innings. "I walked four guys, which is way too many," Pelfrey said. "Out of their five hits, two of them were hit really hard. That's been a big problem for me this year. And it didn't get any better tonight." On his walk total, Pelfrey added: "I was talking to (pitching coach) Dan (Warthen) about that and he said that my lower half is getting out too far -- kind of jumping. I'm not really staying back." Read game stories in Newsday, the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and Post.
• Gary Carter is not attending Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown because he is battling malignant brain tumors. Writes Post columnist Kevin Kernan:
Bert Blyleven, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame tomorrow along with Roberto Alomar, got a call from Gary Carter. "He apologized because he couldn't be here," Blyleven told The Post yesterday. "It was pretty touching."
Kernan also gets thoughts on Carter from Johnny Bench, Tony Gwynn, Andre Dawson and Ozzie Smith, among others.
• Plenty of scouts still continue to flock to Mets games. Friday's contingent included Braves special assistant Jim Fregosi. Insiders see the three National League teams -- the Braves, Giants and Phillies -- as the primary contenders for Beltran. ESPN's Buster Olney lists the Red Sox and Rangers as the other primary suitors. As a player with 10 years of service time and five years with the Mets, Beltran must have a full 24 hours before the 4 p.m. trade deadline on July 31 to approve the team to which the Mets intend to send him.
• Jonathan Lehman in the Post writes that fantasy owners should sell on Beltran now, before he gets traded. Writes Lehman:
Beltran actually has hit better in Queens, going into the weekend with a .310/.405/.589 (AVG/OBP/SLG) line at home vs. .272/.371/.467 away -- and taking away one monster afternoon at Coors Field, he has just three homers in 47 road games. Plus, fatigue almost certainly will come into play for a guy on pace to pile up more games than he has in the past two years combined, and the transition to DH is rarely fluid for a player accustomed to playing everyday.
Beltran actually is probably staying in the NL, where he is familiar with the pitching, for whatever that's worth.
• Nick Evans was designated for assignment to clear roster room for Wright. Assuming Evans clears waivers -- he has done so multiple times before -- a team official said he would be the likely candidate to return once Beltran is traded. That is, Evans could return after spending the required 10 days in the minors.
• The Mets claimed outfielder Mike Baxter from the San Diego Padres and assigned him to Class A St. Lucie as he works back from a thumb injury. Read more here.
• Jason Bay missed a second straight start with a right hamstring injury, but expects to return Saturday or Sunday.
BIRTHDAYS: No one to appear for the Mets was born on this date. But July 23 is the day several prominent major leaguers were born, including Pee Wee Reese and Don Drysdale.