Max Scherzer and James McCann will finally be a pitching-and-catching tandem again Tuesday night — for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
Scherzer will be making his first — and possibly only — rehab start when Reading visits Mirabito Stadium. McCann, who’s coming off wrist surgery, began his rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton last week.
“That’s part of the reason,” Scherzer said of his rehab destination before the Mets’ 6-0 win over Miami Monday at Citi Field.
It was May 21 when the 37-year-old righty was placed on the 15-day IL with a “moderate to high grade” strained left oblique, which occurred in a start against St. Louis three days prior. The Mets announced a general timetable of six-to-eight weeks for this type of injury.
If all goes well, Scherzer has Sunday at Miami as a target for his return. That would be about 5 1/2 weeks.
Buck Showalter wasn’t going there yet. The plan is for Scherzer to throw three or four innings, or 45 to 60 pitches, according to the Mets’ manager.
“We’ll see how Tuesday goes,” Showalter said. “Then after Tuesday and then after his workday, we’ll kind of see. We trust him, but there’s also some things that we need to see.”
They saw him throw a three-inning, 50-pitch simulated game last Thursday at Citi Field.
“You know Max,” Showalter said. “… He’s competitive as heck. We had the Brooklyn hitters (batting) off of him the other day and he was trying to punch them out. … I’m hoping we’ll get a good read. Obviously, we’ll talk to him.”
Dom is back
All teams had to have a maximum of 13 pitchers Monday, according to an MLB mandate. The Mets placed Seth Lugo on the paternity list to comply, and they recalled Dominic Smith from Triple-A Syracuse.
“Dom’s capable of making contributions for us,” Showalter said. “In whatever role, he’s ready to help. He’s a good player.”
Smith was sent down on May 30. The 27-year-old first baseman/DH had struggled in a bench role. He hit .186 with no homers and 14 RBIs in 39 games.
In 15 games with Syracuse, Smith hit .266 with two homers and 10 RBIs.
“He went down and did what he was asked to do,” Showalter said. “Great work habits. Got going again. When we sent him out, we had some pitching issues, and we also wanted to get him going because we knew he was capable of better.”
The Mets have 11 shutouts. The Yankees were tied with them for the major-league lead heading into Monday night’s game at Tampa Bay. … The Mets are now 20-4 following a loss.