The Mets are scheduled to face Andrew Cashner and Ian Kennedy this weekend at Citi Field.METS (29-37, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (28-38, fourth place/NL West)
Saturday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.19) vs. TBA, 4:10 p.m. ET
Padres short hops
• The Mets had been lined up to face left-hander Eric Stults in the series opener. He instead pitched on short rest Thursday in Philadelphia -- a better matchup for a southpaw -- after getting knocked out the previous start by the Washington Nationals after 2 1/3 innings and 48 pitches.
Cashner is winless in his last six starts despite posting a 2.83 ERA during that stretch. San Diego was shut out in three straight starts by him from April 26 through May 7. Cashner’s last start -- six scoreless innings against the Nats -- marked his return from the disabled list after missing more than three weeks with a sore right elbow.
• Saturday’s San Diego starter has not yet been announced. With left-hander Robbie Erlin on the disabled list since May 22 with elbow soreness, the Padres briefly had been using Tim Stauffer in the rotation. However, Stauffer lasted a combined three innings and surrendered nine runs in consecutive starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Pittsburgh Pirates and has been returned to the bullpen. He then tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings in long relief his last appearance, Sunday against the Nats.
Reported candidates to make Saturday’s start include Triple-A right-hander Donn Roach and Double-A right-hander Jesse Hahn, both of whom debuted in the major leagues earlier this season. Hahn attended Fitch Senior High School in Groton, Conn.
• Second baseman Jedd Gyorko, who had 23 homers last season, has been on the disabled list since last Friday with plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Rookie Jace Peterson and Alexi Amarista -- both left-handed hitters -- have handled the position in Gyorko’s absence.
• The Padres rank at or near the bottom in the major leagues in nearly every major offensive category: runs (200, last), home runs (48, 26th), average (.216, last), on-base percentage (.275, last) and slugging percentage (.344, last).
The players’ individual averages also reflect that anemic production. Thursday’s starting lineup at Philly included leadoff man Will Venable (now batting .216), shortstop Everth Cabrera (.226), cleanup hitter Chase Headley (.200), first baseman Yonder Alonso (.208), catcher Yasmani Grandal (.185) and the second baseman Amarista (.202).
• Padres GM Josh Byrnes was a finalist for the GM job that went to Sandy Alderson with the Mets. Omar Minaya remains a deputy to Byrnes in San Diego.