David Wright could return to the Mets by the All-Star break, general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday.
Alderson stressed that there had been no change in the condition of the Mets' third baseman and captain, who is rehabbing a back injury in California. Wright has been diagnosed with lower back stenosis, a condition that was discovered after he failed to return from a hamstring injury. Wright has been on the disabled list since April 15.
"Nothing has changed," Alderson said. "I think that we always expected that he would be doing his rehab work, let's say, through the end of the month. If he's cleared by the end of the month, then I think two, three weeks into July is realistic. Am I predicting that? No. I'm not predicting it. But I do think it's realistic. Is there anything short of that that would seem realistic? Probably not."
Syndergaard to pen?
Alderson said the Mets have discussed the possibility of using Monday night's starter, Noah Syndergaard, as a reliever later in the season.
"We're always looking at different combinations, asking ourselves what puts us in the best position to win on a particular day," he said. "I wouldn't rule that out, but it's not something we're considering right now."
Alderson did say he's not looking at using prospect Steven Matz as a reliever if and when the Ward Melville product is called up.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who was reclaimed on waivers from the Angels last week, was assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas. Nieuwenhuis was a combined 6-for-60 (.100) for the Mets and Angels . . . Vic Black, who has yet to appear in a major-league game this season because of shoulder and neck problems, has been sidelined by a groin strain at Las Vegas.