- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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Reliever Pedro Beato is eligible to return from the disabled list on Sunday, and general manager Sandy Alderson told ESPNNewYork.com that's a realistic return date for the righty.
"I think he's ready to come off the disabled list when his 60 days expire [on Sunday]," Alderson said before the Mets faced the Cardinals. "Looking forward to seeing more of him, he's definitely an asset and someone I expect to be here sometime."
Beato has missed the entire season so far with right shoulder stiffness, and is currently pitching with Triple-A Buffalo. In four outings with the Bisons, he has given up one earned run over 3-2/3 innings. In seven games in the minors, he has surrendered one run.
The right-hander's return could be a much-needed boost to a maligned bullpen that has struggled lately and failed to perform in critical spots.
"He's been OK. His arm strength is coming back," manager Terry Collins said. "Like anybody else that went through the soreness he did in spring training, he has some good nights and some bad nights -- [a good night is] where his velocity is really back to 93-94 [miles per hour]. The other night it was 88-90, so we know there's some strengthening to do but he's made good strides."
THE ROTATION: The rotation over the next three days is not set. Weather could change the order of the hurlers, and Monday's starter is still a question mark.
If we get a downpour Saturday, Collins said the team could elect to skip R.A. Dickey and instead possibly start Jeremy Hefner on three days' rest with the bullpen backing him up.
If Dickey starts, Monday's starter will be either Hefner or Miguel Batista or Chris Young, the latter of which is on the disabled list. Batista is eligible to return on Monday, currently sidelined with a lower back strain.
The team is still awaiting the return of Chris Young, who needs at least one more start before returning to Flushing.
"He's making good progress," Alderson said of Young. "I think he's close and we'll have to make a decision sometime this weekend about his next start and where that will be."
TEJADA AND BAY: Shortstop Ruben Tejada, on the disabled list with a right quad strain, ran at Citi Field on Friday and was scheduled to hit. He's planning to run Saturday, and if all goes well, the team will send him to the minors to start playing games, according to Collins.
Outfielder Jason Bay, sidelined with a nondisplaced fractured rib, is going to DH for Single-A St. Lucie this weekend, and the team is hoping he can start playing in the field on Monday night. Collins said Bay would return to Flushing very soon after he plays in the outfield.
With Bay and Tejada making progress, as well as Young and Beato, the Mets could potentially have some additions to the roster starting as early as Sunday.
"Hopefully we'll have a number of those players back within the next week or so," Alderson said.