Mets starter Jonathon Niese, who was sore about being removed from Friday night's win over the Rangers after being hit in the lower back by a line drive on his 12th pitch, might be headed for the disabled list, according to a report from ESPN.

The Mets announced that reliever Buddy Carlyle is on his way from Triple-A Las Vegas, but no other roster move was announced during last night's game against Texas.

Niese, who said on Friday that he would like to make two starts before the All-Star break, declined to comment Saturday night, saying he will be available Sunday. Manager Terry Collins acknowledged the DL is a possibility for Niese and said there will be an announcement Sunday.

Before the Mets' 5-3 loss to the Rangers, Collins hinted that Niese might have problems beyond a sore lower back. "He's got a bruise," Collins said. "He's talked about some other issues, so we'll see how he is [Sunday] when it's time for him to throw again."

According to the ESPN report, the Mets are concerned about Niese's left shoulder because his velocity is down.


advertisement | advertise on newsday

Gee getting closer

Pitcher Dillon Gee, who has been on the disabled list since May 11 with a strained right lateral muscle, had an excellent six-inning outing lasting 75 pitches for Brooklyn on Friday night. He is slated to throw a bullpen session Sunday.

"He could pitch next week here," Collins said. "He could be trying to get to 100 pitches someplace else."

If it's up to Gee, there will be no more rehab assignments. He said he feels "fantastic" and added, "I feel I'm ready to be back here pitching."

Gee's timing is perfect. He might slide right into Niese's spot in the rotation on Wednesday.


D'Arnaud on fire

Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud, who followed Friday night's game-winning two-run double with a home run Saturday night, has reached base in his first 10 games since returning from Triple-A Las Vegas. He has at least one hit in nine of those games. D'Arnaud is hitting .297 in that span (11-for-37) with seven RBIs.

"He's doing a much better job of plate coverage, and his swings are extremely aggressive," Collins said. "He's not just feeling for the ball anymore. Now that Travis is doing a better job of covering the outside part of the plate, he's hitting the ball harder."

Delayed fireworks

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Friday night's 6-5 Mets win lasted 4:08 and was the longest game in major-league history in which the teams totaled fewer than 15 runs and the home team won without batting in the ninth, according to Elias Sports Bureau.