Mets yet to decide odd man out upon Gee's return
Dice-K with most relief experience among current members of team's rotation
MIAMI -- With Dillon Gee's return to the rotation looming, Mets manager Terry Collins isn't any closer to deciding which of his starters is going to the bullpen.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, who got the call on Friday against the Marlins at Marlins Park, has experience as a reliever already. This year, he's pitched 24 1/3 innings over 17 relief appearances and compiled a 2.22 ERA while holding batters to a .145 average. One of those innings came as recently as Tuesday against the Cardinals.
In four starts this season, Matsuzaka is 2-0 with a 3.63 ERA in 17 1/3 innings, which includes just one inning in his last start because of a stomach ailment. So the right-hander has proven himself to be flexible, spot-starting or relieving when needed.
But Jacob deGrom's future is a little more unsure. He's only ever pitched out of the rotation as a professional, appearing in all 58 of his Minor League games as a starter. Collins is concerned deGrom might not have the durability to get up to pitch every day as relievers tend to do.
"And if they get up, how long is it gonna take them to get ready, because sometimes they gotta speed it up," the manager said.
It's been a while since deGrom pitched out of the bullpen.
When the Mets drafted him as a pitcher out of Stetson University in 2010, he had started the season as a shortstop and closer. He made five relief appearances, but ended up logging most of his innings when he was moved to the rotation to fill some holes in the pitching staff. deGrom became his team's No. 1 starter, throwing 82 1/3 innings in 12 starts and recording a 4.48 ERA.
That year was his only full season on the mound. In two seasons before that, he'd mainly been an infielder and logged just one relief appearance in 2009.
"Dillon's gotta get back in the rotation," Collins said. "We don't know certainly who it is we're gonna put back in the bullpen. When that time comes, we'll see whose names are brought up."
Gee could make his first rehab start early next week as he works his way back from a right lat strain.
Catcher d'Arnaud tearing it up in Triple-A
MIAMI -- Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud's bat has not cooled off since he was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on June 7. On Thursday night, d'Arnaud hit his sixth homer in 11 games as part of a 3-for-5 game, raising his batting average to .432.
Sent down to prove he could hit for average and power on a consistent basis, d'Arnaud has done just that. To accompany those home runs, he's also doubled six times and driven in 15 runs.
The Mets originally planned for him to get around 50 at-bats before they would make a decision on his return to the big leagues. Now that two weeks have passed, d'Arnaud has accumulated 44 at-bats and has a .432/.479/.977 slash line, for a 1.456 OPS.
But before Friday's game against the Marlins, manager Terry Collins still had no date for d'Arnaud's return. Asked if he would bring him up by the end of the weekend, Collins said, "I doubt it."
• Outfielder Juan Lagares, who has been on the disabled list since June 2 with an intercostal strain on his right side, made his first rehab start with the Gulf Coast League Mets on Friday. He went 0-for-4.
• Zack Wheeler, 24, is the youngest Mets pitcher to throw a 1-0 complete game since Dwight Gooden did it twice in 1985 at just 20 years old. Since 1997, the only Mets pitcher as young as Wheeler to throw a shutout by any score was Jon Niese, who at 23 years old shut out the Padres, 3-0, on June 10, 2010, in the second game of a doubleheader.
Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.