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Vargas to be activated, set to make Mets debut

Veteran left-hander will start against the Padres on Saturday
MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

ST. LOUIS -- Satisfied that Jason Vargas has passed every test necessary to return from the disabled list, the Mets will activate the left-hander to make his season debut Saturday against the Padres in San Diego. On Tuesday, Vargas flew from Las Vegas to St. Louis, where he met the team in advance of his assignment.

In Vegas, Vargas made his lone Minor League rehab start, pitching without an L-screen for the first time since undergoing surgery to remove a broken bone from his right hand in late March. Vargas fielded his position and caught throws back from the catcher, which the Mets considered far more important than the three runs he allowed in four innings.

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ST. LOUIS -- Satisfied that Jason Vargas has passed every test necessary to return from the disabled list, the Mets will activate the left-hander to make his season debut Saturday against the Padres in San Diego. On Tuesday, Vargas flew from Las Vegas to St. Louis, where he met the team in advance of his assignment.

In Vegas, Vargas made his lone Minor League rehab start, pitching without an L-screen for the first time since undergoing surgery to remove a broken bone from his right hand in late March. Vargas fielded his position and caught throws back from the catcher, which the Mets considered far more important than the three runs he allowed in four innings.

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"He said he felt great," manager Mickey Callaway said. "He had one little tough inning where he left a few pitches over the middle and gave up a few runs, but reports were great from the Triple-A staff. The report was really positive from Vargas himself, and he's ready to go."

A February acquisition to the Mets' pitching staff, Vargas fractured his hand in March and took about a month to recover from the resulting surgery. He went 18-11 with a 4.16 ERA in 32 starts last season for the Royals.

New blue
In their 21st game, the Mets wore their blue road alternate jerseys Tuesday for the first time this season. A popular pick in past years, the Mets often wore their blue jerseys when Matt Harvey took the mound. But Harvey did not choose them in any of his four April starts; it was Zack Wheeler, Tuesday's starter, who finally selected them.

Umpire auction
The Mets are taking part in Major League Baseball's 10th annual "UMPS CARE" auction, selling a baseball that is signed by the umpiring crew from their Opening Day win over the Cardinals -- Fieldin Culbreth, Brian O'Nora, CB Bucknor and Chris Conroy.

MLB umpires will offer up more than 300 items that include autographed sports memorabilia, one-of-a-kind VIP experiences and upgraded ticket packages. The auction is live at www.mlb.com/UmpsCare, and it closes at 10 p.m. EDT on Monday. Some of the items up for bid include signed bats, cleats, jerseys, photos and baseballs from some of the biggest stars in baseball.

There are also opportunities to watch batting practice up close on the field at many MLB ballparks, hotel stays with game tickets, opportunities to have lunch with an MLB umpire, suites and tickets from Minor League Baseball clubs, golf foursomes and more.

All proceeds from the online auction support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs to provide Major League Baseball experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children and financial assistance for families in need.

"Each year, thanks to the support from our friends in Major League Baseball and throughout the sports world, we get some fantastic items for our auction, and this year is no exception," said Gary Darling, former MLB umpire and Board President for UMPS CARE Charities. "This is the biggest fundraising initiative that we have to help so many children in need, and we can't thank everyone enough for all of the support. Please tell all of your friends, bid early and bid often to help this great cause."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Jason Vargas