Vic Black will be sidelined for at least 10 more days before he can resume his minor-league rehab assignment.
The Mets reliever also gained more clarity about what is actually ailing him. He had been complaining of shoulder fatigue, which a nerve specialist recently described as fallout from a herniated disc in his neck.
According to Black, the disc issue caused nerve irritation, which led to increased muscle fatigue. Said Black: "My triceps wasn't firing completely, which of course causes all the other issues that we felt like were shoulder [related] for so long."
However, Black also learned he has no structural damage in his shoulder, which would have been a much larger issue. "I feel like I'm letting some folks down because I know that I can be here, I know that I can be helping," Black said. "I want to be a part of this. That in itself is kind of frustrating."
Black pitched with a herniated disc in his neck all last season, though he said the condition has improved with treatment. Surgery is not being considered.
Black's lingering shoulder fatigue prompted this latest round of exams. At the start of his rehab assignment, Black's fastball touched 97 mph. But in his most recent outing with Double-A Binghamton, Black's velocity had dipped to 88 to 90 mph. Reshuffled lineup
For the first time in his career, John Mayberry Jr. started a game batting in the leadoff spot. Mayberry entered play hitting .455 with three doubles and a homer against Braves lefthander Eric Stults. Given that success, Collins said he wanted to maximize Mayberry's at-bats against Stults.
The move paid an immediate dividend when Mayberry opened the bottom of the first with a triple to center.
With Mayberry in the lineup, Curtis Granderson got a scheduled day off, even though he was coming off a four-RBI game against the Braves.
Slumping second baseman Daniel Murphy also got a day off with Ruben Tejada starting in his place. Murphy is hitting just .143, the lowest mark amongst the Mets' regulars. Extra bases
Backup catcher Anthony Recker remains available even though he is battling through a bone spur in his right elbow. Recker was checked out by doctors earlier in the day . . . The Mets acquired minor-league catcher Dan Rohlfing from the Twins for cash considerations. Rohlfing, 26, will report to Triple-A Las Vegas.