Plawecki to begin rehab stint Wednesday

Mets expected to use catcher platoon with Mesoraco once injured backstop returns

May 22nd, 2018

NEW YORK -- When the Mets acquired from the Reds earlier this month, they indicated that Mesoraco's health history -- two hip surgeries and a shoulder operation, among other maladies -- would prevent him from playing every day. But Mesoraco has started most games at catcher for the Mets, largely because he has performed so well.

That could change soon. The Mets announced that will begin a Minor League rehab assignment Wednesday with Triple-A Las Vegas, putting a more concrete timeline on his return from a fractured bone in his left hand. Once Plawecki returns from the disabled list, the Mets have indicated, he and Mesoraco could ease into a timeshare, much as Plawecki and did earlier this season.

How long Plawecki stays on assignment, manager Mickey Callaway said, will mostly be up to him. Sidelined since April 11 due to the injury, Plawecki initially hoped to return in as little as two to three weeks. He will wind up missing around seven.

"We want him to feel comfortable that he can come up here and be in the spot he needs to be to go out there and have a great at-bat, catch nine innings, things like that," Callaway said. "We're going to lean on him a lot for some of that information."

In seven games prior to his injury, Plawecki hit .150 with a .593 OPS. Mesoraco entered Tuesday's play batting .200 with three home runs and a .933 OPS in eight games, though he was out of the lineup against the Marlins due to a sore left elbow. The Mets expect Mesoraco, who sustained the injury when struck him with a backswing during Monday's game, to return to the starting lineup on Wednesday.

"It's still a little bit swollen, but nothing major," Mesoraco said. "I'll be fine."

Other Mets injury updates

• Reliever will also begin a Minor League rehab assignment Wednesday with Las Vegas. Robles has been on the DL since May 9 due to a strained right knee.

• Out since March with a strained left oblique, reliever threw a bullpen session Tuesday in Florida. He "won't need a ton" of those before advancing to live batting practice, according to Callaway, and eventually a rehab assignment of his own.

• Outfielder took batting practice in an indoor cage on Tuesday, but he is not close to a return from a strained right hip flexor. Through a team spokesman, Cespedes again declined comment on his injury. He has not discussed it since May 6, when it initially forced him to leave a game.

"He's just trying to heal every day," Callaway said. "He's … trying to get it to where it's in a spot where he can go out and do the everyday things that you have to do to make that next step to play in games. … We need Yoenis in our lineup to be the best team we can possibly be."