PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Ronny Paulino was scheduled for a "diagnostic procedure" Monday, according to general manager Sandy Alderson, as the Mets waited for the results of follow-up tests on their ailing catcher.
Alderson said Saturday that Paulino had been shut down because of concerns about his blood work during the team's routine physical, adding that the irregularities were not related to performance-enhancing drugs. Paulino has eight games remaining on his 50-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance last season. He said it had to do with taking a dietary pill.
Mike Nickeas already had been penciled in to replace Paulino on Opening Day.
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Terry Collins refused to say Daniel Murphy has locked up a spot on the Mets' bench. But after losing the battle to start at second base to Brad Emaus, Murphy is looking good for a utility role, and to that end, he played the outfield Sunday for the first time since May 19, 2009, in Los Angeles.
Murphy was in left that day against the Dodgers, as opposed to rightfield Sunday, and he wasn't surprised that the Mets decided to run him out there again.
"I think with the double-switch in the National League, it's something that's going to come up," Murphy said. "It wasn't in the forefront of my mind that I was going to be out there, but it was a possibility."
Collins met with Blaine Boyer and also spoke to Jason Isringhausen, but the Mets have not decided on the final bullpen spot . . . With Monday's rainout, R.A. Dickey's minor-league tuneup was moved to Tuesday, setting him up for Sunday's start against the Marlins.