MIAMI — Noah Syndergaard and Jason Vargas are scheduled to pitch opposite each other in a simulated game in Port St. Lucie this week, a significant step in their return from injury, according to manager Mickey Callaway.
Both pitchers will head to the Mets’ minor-league complex Sunday, when their teammates head to Toronto for a series. The Mets are getting by with a four-man rotation thanks to several days off, and it’s not clear which pitcher will come back first. Righthander Corey Oswalt will stay in the rotation, starting Wednesday against Toronto.
Syndergaard has been out since May 25 with a strained right index finger. Vargas suffered a strained right calf June 20. Vargas has not run yet, and he will need to practice fielding his position before returning to the majors. Callaway said he wasn’t sure if that will happen in the simulated game.
“We’ll see how he is in a few days when he has to throw and see if he can cover bases and things like that,” he said. “If not, we’ll really control it just to get him some work against hitters.”
Reyes takes it slow
Jose Reyes appeared to not run out his pinch-hit groundout to shortstop in the sixth inning of Saturday’s loss to the Marlins. That prompted a conversation between Callaway and bench coach Gary DiSar cina.
“It looked like that to us, too,” Callaway said. “I went and talked to Rey-Rey, and he said he felt something coming out of the box. He was scared he was going to pull something. So he pulled up halfway. I thought maybe he was frustrated or whatever, but he felt something coming out of the box.”
Reyes did not say which part of his body was the issue, Callaway said.
Four pitchers have made their first major-league start against the Mets this season, including the Marlins’ Sandy Alcantara and Pablo Lopez this weekend. Those starters have a 1.57 ERA in the four games . . . The Mets promoted lefthander Anthony Kay, a Stony Brook native and former Ward Melville standout, to Class A St. Lucie. He struck out 11 and walked none in 6 2⁄3 innings in his final appearance for low Class A Columbia, where he had a 4.54 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. Kay, 23, missed the 2016 and 2017 seasons because of Tommy John surgery.