Here's a few early notes as the Mets try to avoid the sweep today in San Francisco:
-- Jerry Manuel said that Luis Castillo is likely to come off the disabled list and join the Mets tomorrow in Arizona. That probably means the end of Justin Turner, who starts at second base today. Manuel added that Castillo will bat second when Angel Pagan sits; eighth when Pagan is in the lineup.
"HIs on-base [percentage] is a big help," Manuel said. "His ability to see a lot of pitches. It's kind of something we've lacked."
-- Manuel confirmed that Hisanori Takahashi is pencilled in to make his next start Thursday in LA with Oliver Perez likely to join the bullpen later in the week as a "lefty-on-lefty" specialist. Manuel added that's the plan "for now" as the Mets don't want to bounce Takahashi just yet.
"Takahashi has struggled lately," Manuel said. "But he's pitched some big games for us and I don't think we're ready to pull that [switch] yet. Are we down on Ollie? I just think Ollie has to continue to find himself ... I think Ollie could be of value for us in the pen."
-- It also appears that Josh Thole is headed back down to Triple-A Buffalo very soon, perhaps after he catches R.A. Dickey on Tuesday in Arizona. Manuel wants to get back to the two-catcher rotation of Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco, which he believes is critical to keeping the pitching staff on track.
-- Jose Reyes took ground balls today during batting practice and that should be the last hurdle he needed to clear before rejoining the lineup Monday against the Diamondbacks.
- Mike Pelfrey threw a light bullpen this morning and appears to be over the stiff neck that forced his start to be pushed back from Saturday to Monday in Arizona.