James reassigned, lefty battle narrows

Steve Mitchell/US Presswire

Chuck James was sent to minor league camp after Thursday's game.

Left-handed reliever Chuck James was reassigned to minor league camp after Thursday's game against the Houston Astros, leaving three remaining southpaw relievers in camp to vie for the specialist role until Tim Byrdak returns.

Garrett Olson appears most likely to make the Opening Day roster, with prospect Josh Edgin as well as Daniel Herrera also still in camp.

James had a 7.36 ERA in five Grapefruit League appearances spanning 3 2/3 innings. He allowed six hits, walked four and hit a batter.

Byrdak, who underwent surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his left knee March 13, plans to begin tossing a baseball Friday and could be throwing off a mound next week. He is doubtful to be ready for Opening Day, but may only miss a week or two of the regular season.

The Mets now have 39 players in major league camp.