SAN DIEGO - Reliever Vic Black took a step toward becoming just the second of 13 players to come off the Mets' disabled list.
After tossing six scoreless innings in six appearances with Double-A Binghamton, Black's rehab stint has been shifted to Triple-A Las Vegas. "You know how when you have a fever, and you sweat, then finally it breaks and you feel amazing?" Black said Wednesday. "My shoulder broke its fever."
Black has yet to pitch in the big leagues this season because of shoulder and neck woes that plagued him in spring training.
But since enduring diminished velocity and later suffering a setback, the reliever has made steady progress.
Manager Terry Collins said reports indicate that Black's command has improved and that his fastball has been in the 93-94 mph range. But after his most recent outing, Black said he was closer to 95 mph.
Collins said there is no time frame for Black's return. "We have to be 100 percent sure he's ready so I think a little time in Vegas won't hurt him."
Meanwhile, fellow reliever Bobby Parnell, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, allowed three runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning Wednesday night with Double-A Binghamton.
Through the season's first two months, the bullpen has thrived even without Black and Parnell. Entering Wednesday's series finale against the Padres, the Mets relievers posted a 2.65 ERA, second best in the National League.
Catcher Travis d'Arnaud and infielder Dilson Herrera will begin playing in minor-league rehab games Thursday for Class-A Port St. Lucie. D'Arnaud will restart his rehab after suffering a bone bruise in his right hand. He went on the disabled list April 20 with a broken finger in his right hand. Herrera landed on the DL May 15 with a fractured finger.
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