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If Castillo's foot doesn't improve, he may be headed for DL

New York Mets' Luis Castillo makes a play

New York Mets' Luis Castillo makes a play on a ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers' Rickie Weeks during the fifth inning. (May 30, 2010) Credit: AP

SAN DIEGO - Luis Castillo may be creeping closer to the disabled list, whether he wants to admit it or not. The day after his tiebreaking, bases-loaded single in the Mets' 10-4 win over the Brewers, Castillo was back on the bench for last night's series opener at Petco Park.

Jerry Manuel opted for Alex Cora to face Padres righthander Kevin Correia, just as he used Cora against Yovani Gallardo for the opener of the Brewers series. The manager plans to use Castillo for the final two games in San Diego with a pair of lefthanders, Wade LeBlanc and Clayton Richard, starting for the Padres.

Manuel denied that he is going with a strict platoon at second base but also acknowledged that he needs to get Castillo and his bruised left foot as much rest as possible. Even that might not be enough to keep him on the field, however. Castillo confirmed Manuel's assertion that his right foot now is a problem because he has to compensate for the bone bruise inside his left one, but he made sure to say he is "fine."

The Mets aren't so sure, and that could make this a pivotal week in determining if Castillo needs a DL stint.

"We have to keep doing what we're doing," Manuel said, "and if it doesn't get any better, then we have to make a decision which way we're going to go. We'll have to decide, hey, this is not benefiting him and it's not benefiting us, then we have to give him rest, put him on the DL, get it right, and go from there."

Niese on Saturday

The Mets plan to have Jon Niese start Saturday against the Marlins after he reported no problems with yesterday's rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo.

Niese, who has been on the DL with a hamstring strain, allowed two runs and eight hits in six innings, striking out three with no walks. He threw 80 pitches, 57 for strikes.

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