Reyes getting closer to Saturday return

Jose Reyes went 1-for-5 in an extended spring training game in Port St. Lucie Wednesday. One more of those and he could be heading to New York to play for the Mets this weekend.

Reyes is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list on Saturday when the Mets host the Nationals. Manager Jerry Manuel said the organization would discuss Reyes' status after the shortstop plays Thursday in Florida.

"Barring setbacks, we anticipate that the physical conditioning part has gone extremely well, he's getting enough at-bats, so we'll do another evaluation on Thursday after he plays in St. Lucie," he said.

Alex Cora started for the second straight game last night. Manuel said he plans to play rookie Ruben Tejada against Marlins lefthander Nate Robertson Thursday night.

Fernando Tatis will likely replace Mike Jacobs at first Thursday night. Jacobs batted cleanup again last night between David Wright and Jason Bay.

Figgy the Phil

Nelson Figueroa, who didn't make the Mets out of spring training, was claimed on waivers by the Phillies, the first time in seven tries in his career he was placed on waivers and didn't make it through. The Mets were hoping to stash the versatile righthander at Triple-A Buffalo, though Figueroa could have refused the assignment.

Now he gets to pitch in the big leagues for the defending NL champs. Figueroa, 35, went 3-8 with a 4.09 ERA for the Mets last season. The Phillies started the season with pitchers Joe Blanton, Brad Lidge and J.C. Romero on the DL.

Extra bases

Manuel had Oliver Perez available in the bullpen, but didn't sound too interested in using him. "I think something would have to happen early or late into the night where we're still playing," Manuel said . . . The Mets extended their player development contract with Double-A Binghamton for two more years (through 2012).

advertisement | advertise on newsday

MLB video

advertisement | advertise on newsday