Manuel: One More Start Likely For Maine

Jerry Manuel said before Friday’s game that his plan is for John Maine to make three minor league starts before the team makes a decision on the right-hander’s return to the starting rotation.

Maine will start Friday night in Triple-A Buffalo, his second minor league start in an effort to come back from right shoulder tightness. The Mets placed Maine on the disabled list on May 21 after a disastrous outing in Washington the night before in which he was pulled after throwing just five pitches.

Manuel said that the team would make a decision on Maine’s return based on how the righty feels after Friday night’s start.

Still, the manager reiterated that “our intent was for him to have three starts.”

The Mets will have to move one starter to the bullpen to make room for Maine in the rotation. The most likely candidate for demotion is lefty Hisanori Takahashi, who will start Friday night against the Yankees.

CARTER OK: Chris Carter said Friday that his left knee is “swollen” but it wouldn’t keep him out of tonight’s lineup against the Yankees.

Carter is the Mets’ designated hitter tonight, batting sixth.

He fouled a ball off of his left knee in the fifth inning of the Mets win in Cleveland on Thursday. Carter said after the game that he couldn’t put any weight on the knee but said before Friday’s game that he was “OK.”

“It’s swollen up, but it’s nothing that’s going to keep me out,” Carter said. “I’m OK, I’m going to play.”