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Devin Mesoraco's neck issue pains Mets

Mets assistant athletic trainer Joseph Golia, left, assists

Mets assistant athletic trainer Joseph Golia, left, assists Devin Mesoraco off the field after an apparent injury during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Los Angeles, Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. Photo Credit: AP/Kelvin Kuo

LOS ANGELES — Devin Mesoraco’s neck issue has become a neck and back issue, and the Mets aren’t sure when he will play again.

Mesoraco, who has caught almost all of NL Cy Young Award candidate Jacob deGrom’s starts since he joined the team in May, arrived at the ballpark Tuesday “pretty sore” after leaving Monday night’s game early, manager Mickey Callaway said.

“We had some tests done and all those came back pretty clear, but he is sore at this point,” said Callaway, adding that any other time of year Mesoraco would “absolutely” be on the disabled list. “Give him a couple of days off and see where we’re at.”

Mesoraco said Monday afternoon, before re-aggravating his neck and experiencing back tightness during a swing in the fifth inning, that his goal the rest of the season was to be behind the plate for deGrom’s starts. This time, though, he suspects he won’t be physically ready to catch deGrom’s next start, which is scheduled for Saturday against the Phillies.

Needing Nimmos

For any team to contend for the World Series, Callaway said, they need surprises — players like what Brandon Nimmo has been for the Mets this year. Callaway identified shortstop Amed Rosario and second baseman Jeff McNeil as prime candidates to be that for the 2019 Mets.

“You see that in teams that have great seasons,” Callaway said. “To get where you want to get, some guys have to step up, some guys you probably didn’t think they were going to be able to do that or maybe it came a little earlier than what was expected.”

In Rosario, who has come on strong of late, Callaway said the Mets have a player who “has one of the highest ceilings in all of the majors.” Callaway thinks McNeil, who has impressed since taking over the full-time job at second, can be even better.

“We think Jeff McNeil can continue to improve every day, especially on defense, turning (double plays), which he’s done a great job of,” Callaway said. “The more and more comfortable he gets in the major leagues, maybe some of that power shows up. He’s a guy who can hit 15-20 (homers).”

Extra bases

The Mets don’t expect any additional September call-ups from the minors, manager Mickey Callaway said, but Anthony Swarzak (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to be activated early in the homestand that starts Friday. David Wright also continues to work toward a return . . .  Steven Matz in the Mets' nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award, which is awarded annually by Major League Baseball to the player who best represents the sport through extraordinary character and philanthropic/community involvement.

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