MIAMI — Jason Vargas’ surgically repaired right hand is not healing as quickly as the Mets expected, and given the schedule outlined by Mickey Callaway, it could be at least two weeks before he returns to the majors.
The lefthander joined the Mets here Monday after spending a few days in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Vargas will throw another simulated game Thursday as he and the team wait for his right palm to heal.
“From what I’ve been told, the palm takes a while to seal up,” Vargas said. “Taking a little more time to completely seal up than anticipated.”
It’s just a flesh wound — ’tis but a [deep] scratch — on his glove hand after March 20 surgery to remove his fractured hamate bone. But Vargas is still using an L-screen when pitching and has not caught baseballs, the worry being that the wound could reopen if it is not healed sufficiently.
Callaway has said Vargas probably will need to pitch in a minor-league rehab game before being activated. Vargas threw about 85 pitches in a simulated game Saturday and is on a normal every-five-days schedule, so it will be a couple of turns through his own disabled-list rotation before he is ready, barring a change in plans.
Yo knows Miami
Yoenis Cespedes, who said Sunday night that he had been fighting a fever, was feeling well enough to play Monday. “He wasn’t hesitating when he was in the lineup,” Callaway said.
Cespedes entered the series with a .296/.355/.520 slash line, five homers and 17 RBIs in 24 games at Marlins Park. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is in a 1-for-17 stretch with 10 strikeouts. The lone hit was the game-winner Sunday.
Catchers Kevin Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud each started four of the Mets’ first eight games, combining for a .222/.364/.370 slash line, two extra-base hits and four RBIs.
“It seems like they’re on board with what they’re doing and going out there and making sure they prepare with the starting pitcher,” Callaway said. “They’re doing a great job of calling a game.”