In another injury update, general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday the team hopes slugger Yoenis Cespedes will be ready to come off the disabled list in a week to 10 days -- perhaps in time to be the designated hitter during a two-game series at Texas that begins June 6.
"That's conjecture at this point,'' Alderson explained.
Cespedes has been on the DL since April 28 with a strained left hamstring. He felt soreness in his right quadriceps while running the bases in his first rehab game Friday night for Class A St. Lucie, and the club decided to hold him out until at least Tuesday.
"We think (it) is sort of a residual consequence of an injury last year,'' Alderson said. "He wanted to play Saturday night. We pulled him from that game and backed him up a little bit. Want to make sure that that quad injury is resolved before we took another step.''
Matz and Lugo have been sidelined all season with elbow trouble, and each has made three minor league rehab appearances recently. They both started Sunday and threw more than 70 pitches, but the Mets want them to approach 90-plus before returning to the majors.
Matz (left elbow inflammation) tossed five perfect innings for Triple-A Las Vegas, striking out eight against El Paso in a 73-pitch outing. Lugo (partial ligament tear in his right elbow) threw 79 pitches over six innings for Double-A Binghamton, allowing three runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts and two walks vs. Hartford.
Alderson said Matz will make another start for Las Vegas, while Lugo will stay at Binghamton.
If they do get back healthy in early June, both are expected to move into the rotation immediately -- probably pushing rookie Robert Gsellman into a struggling bullpen.
Gsellman, who has made three relief appearances this season, got his ninth start Monday against Milwaukee and earned the win with seven innings of three-hit ball. He improved to 3-3 with a 5.75 ERA overall.
"It's likely that Gsellman will go to the 'pen -- and we do think he can help us there,'' Alderson said. "With a 5.00 ERA in the bullpen, a lot of people can help us.''
New York's relief corps began the day ranked 26th in the majors with a 4.90 ERA. Minus All-Star closer Jeurys Familia for much of the season, the Mets have converted only 10 of 19 save opportunities.
After being diagnosed with a blood clot, Familia had surgery May 12 to repair a blocked artery near his right armpit. He said Monday he expects to pitch again this season, but isn't sure if that means returning in August or September.
The right-hander said he hopes to start throwing after visiting the doctor for a checkup in two weeks.
New York also is missing injured ace Noah Syndergaard and has turned to several mostly ineffective arms in trying to round out a once-imposing rotation. Next up, right-hander Tyler Pill is slated to make his first major league start Tuesday night against the Brewers -- one day after his 27th birthday.
"It will definitely be exciting,'' he said. "I'm really looking forward to it.''
Pill was called up from the minors last Friday and took the loss in relief during his big league debut Saturday night when he gave up the winning run in the 10th inning at Pittsburgh. He was a combined 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA in nine starts at Triple-A and Double-A.
NOT YOUR FAULT
After entering the season with lofty expectations and World Series aspirations, the injury-depleted Mets are 22-27. Contrary to some recent reports, however, Alderson said he doesn't blame manager Terry Collins for the slow start.
"I'm happy with the job that Terry has done under the circumstances," Alderson said. "Nobody's happy with the won-loss record that we have. I think there are reasons for the record that we have that have nothing to do with Terry. So I would hope in the future, that when people write about my views of Terry, that they'll actually ask me about my views."