Most of his hitters aren't hitting, all of his starting pitchers not named Matt Harvey are struggling and even three victories in the previous four games weren't about to solve all of Mets manager Terry Collins' problems. So when he was asked before Monday night's game against the Cincinnati Reds if pitching prospect Zack Wheeler will be returning to the rotation for Triple-A Las Vegas after checking out shoulder soreness, Collins said: "I have no idea. I've got enough issues here."
Also, when asked about the team's acquisition Monday of reliever David Aardsma, who will report to Las Vegas, and whether Aardsma is on the radar to join the Mets at some point, Collins said, "I'm unaware we've signed him."
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Aardsma, 31, whose surname places him first alphabetically in big-league history, had just exercised his right to opt out of a minor-league deal with Miami after not being promoted within a month. A righthander who saved 69 games for the Seattle Mariners in 2009-10 but has endured a series of injuries and Tommy John surgery, he has a 13-15 career record with a 4.22 ERA.
He made only one big-league appearance -- one inning, one run allowed, with the Yankees -- in the previous two seasons.
Among the matters keeping Collins busy: Using Daniel Murphy as a leadoff hitter for the sixth time in Murphy's career until the time that "someone else steps forward and says he should be the leadoff guy," Collins said. Murphy was 0-for-4. And pitcher-turned-power-hitter Rick Ankiel is No. 2 in the order (he went 1-for-3). "He's a veteran guy," Collins said. "He certainly should know how to handle some things in the second hole." Besides, another candidate, Ruben Tejada, entered the game hitting .177 in May.