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Chris Young hoping for more playing time

Mets leftfielder Chris Young reacts after striking out

Mets leftfielder Chris Young reacts after striking out in the bottom of the second inning on Friday, April 25, 2014. Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

MIAMI - Chris Young signed a one-year, $7.25 million deal in hopes of avoiding the nightmare he endured last season. With the A's, his struggles at the plate resulted in diminished playing time. With the Mets, he hoped for a chance.

But Young may be running out of time.

"It's a little similar with the playing time, with the gaps I've had in between at-bats I've had from time to time," Young said, likening his current situation with the one in Oakland.

Young started Thursday night against lefty Andrew Heaney, though his playing time has diminished. Brought in for his power potential, he has hit just four homers while batting just .197. He's mostly been phased out against righties in favor of veteran Bobby Abreu.

Playing time might become more scarce with Juan Lagares (intercostal strain) nearing a return from the disabled list. Lagares is on the brink of playing in Gulf Coast League games.

Terry Collins said he assured Young that he'd remain in the mix, though the Mets manager was hazy about specifics.

Returning soon

Dillon Gee threw 50 pitches in his second bullpen session since suffering a setback during his rehab from a strained right lat muscle. He could be pitching in Gulf Coast League games next week and could be ready for a return in roughly two weeks. "In the past week I've been letting it go and it's felt great," said Gee, who joined the Mets in Miami Thursday.

Extra bases

The Mets have yet to set a date for when Matt Harvey can throw off the slope of the pitcher's mound, a major step in his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Jeremy Hefner will throw off a mound Sunday . . . Collins said outfielder Matt den Dekker was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas to get him more regular playing time.

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