New York Mets
Ike Davis continued to feel no discomfort running, so team officials have decided to test his left ankle with more strenuous activity. Davis will head to Port St. Lucie, Fla., to try baseball activities that require lateral movement as well as hitting.
There is no expectation Davis would return this season, but Terry Collins suggested it offered encouragement surgery could be avoided. Still, assistant GM John Ricco said it was not possible to rule out surgery until Davis tries the more aggressive movements.
Davis likely will be with the Mets for the Marlins series next week in Miami, to try activities with trainer Ray Ramirez observing.
“Obviously there are really good signs he’s getting better,” Collins said.
The Mets have identified Labor Day as a decision date for surgery.
“That wasn't a drop-dead date,” Ricco said. “But the fact that we're going to be down there just seems to work, and we'll be on the same page and we'll decide what we're going to do. … I think it's generally considered better if you don't have to have surgery. And an invasive surgery like that you'd like to avoid it if you could.”
GAME ON? Johan Santana may appear in a rehab game Saturday in Florida for the first time since July 28.
BATTERY: John Franco will throw the ceremonial first pitch to Mike Piazza before the ESPN-televised Sept. 11 game against the Chicago Cubs.
MAKING THE CALL: The Mets’ September call-ups will be limited, and in two stages -- when rosters expand Thursday and after the Triple-A season ends Monday. Outfielder Mike Baxter will be part of the latter group. Among position players, the Mets seemed likely to promote two of three players among infielders Josh Satin, Zach Lutz and Valentino Pascucci. However, Lutz may land on the DL at Triple-A Buffalo with continued concussion symptoms, which presumably would eliminate his candidacy.
Right-handed reliever Josh Stinson is expected to join the Mets on Thursday from Double-A Binghamton.
FLIP: Collins said there was no overly compelling reason to move Lucas Duda to third and place David Wright cleanup rather than the opposite order. But the manager did say one motivation was to put the onus for driving in runs on Wright, a perennial All-Star, as opposed to the rookie Duda.
New York Mets
OUTTA HERE? Like Hisanori Takahashi last year, reliever Ryota Igarashi must be granted free agency this offseason assuming he and the Mets do not work out a contract by a set deadline.
INNINGS EDICT: With 40-year-old Miguel Batista due to start Thursday, Collins was asked if it was a waste since the right-hander’s age dictates he will not be a part of the future. Collins said the problem is the viable young pitchers have already exceeded prudent innings limits. And using them five times in September could have harmful effects on them in 2012. For instance, Triple-A Buffalo All-Star Chris Schwinden has logged 144 1/3 innings this season, already 30 2/3 innings more than his 2010 total.
CENTER ATTENTION: While it’s not a likely scenario, Collins said Jason Bay could play center field on a regular basis in his estimation. The manager suggested the ability to make reads is more important than speed. Collins noted Jim Edmonds did fine relying on that first attribute. Angel Pagan remains under the Mets’ control this offseason, but the concern is that his offensive numbers could fuel an arbitration award of $6 million or more. So the Mets must at least weigh dumping him if they decide the cost exceeds the value.