Ollie on minors: still no

Oliver Perez reiterated before Monday's series opener against the San Diego Padres that he was uninterested in going to the minors.

"I want to keep doing the same -- keep working," Perez said. "I feel better. I know it's hard being in the bullpen and coming to the games, so I have to get used to it. I know everything is going to get back. ... Like when you're not hitting, that can come in one game. Everything can start doing well. This is how is baseball. ... You have to keep positive and keep working. I'm around here and I know what I have to do to be better."

Meanwhile, manager Jerry Manuel said he is unconcerned about players quoted anonymously in the New York Post complaining that Perez is doing the team a disservice by clogging a major league roster spot and refusing to go to the minors.

"Not until they put their name on it," Manuel said about being concerned with anonymous comments. "... If there's 24 it might be an issue. A couple? No."

“You tell him you go to Triple-A or that’s it, you are finished,” a Mets player anonymously told the Post.

Said another, according to the newspaper: “At some point you have to cut bait. You owe him a lot of money, but for what?”

Asked specifically about the anonymous comments, Perez replied: "Who said that? Nobody told me that."

ON TRACK: Manuel confirmed it is "reasonable" to expect left-hander Jon Niese will be actived from the disabled list for Saturday's start against the Florida Marlins at Citi Field.

SOMETHING AFOOT: Because Luis Castillo has been playing on a bone bruise in his left foot, his right foot is bothering him, too. Castillo wanted to continue playing, Manuel said, but the manager decided to sit him against right-hander Kevin Correia. Manuel reasoned it made more sense to start the lefty-hitting Alex Cora on Monday than in either of the latter two games in the series, against left-handers Wade LeBlanc and Clayton Richard. A DL trip ultimately is a possibility for Castillo. In the meantime, Cora should get some starts against right-handed pitchers.