- Mike Mazzeo, ESPN Staff Writer
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Mets closer Frank Francisco, currently on the disabled list with an oblique injury, long-tossed on Friday at Citi Field and said he feels “good.”
Francisco will take Saturday off and then throw a bullpen session on Sunday. If that goes well, the 32-year-old hopes to get in his first rehab game by Tuesday at the earliest.
“Hopefully when he comes out of that second side, we’ll see how he feels, and by next week he starts to get in games,” manager Terry Collins said.
Flame-throwing righty Bobby Parnell has struggled in place of Francisco, blowing his last two save opportunities on July 14 and 17.
• Dillon Gee still believes he’ll be able to come back and pitch this season, but Collins isn’t as optimistic.
The Mets’ fifth starter just underwent another surgery to repair the damaged artery in his right shoulder.
Gee is slated to have two followup appointments: one in three weeks, and one in six weeks. He hopes to start throwing again after the second appointment. Collins said it could be more like eight weeks until Gee begins throwing, which makes it unlikely that Mets fans will see him again in 2012.
“If he starts throwing in six weeks, it’ll be like his first day of spring training,” Collins said. “So now you’ve got two or three or four more weeks to get him built up to where he’s gonna compete here, and now you’re talking about a date where if we’re in the hunt, if we’re right there and if Dillon’s back and he’s at 100 percent, then it’s something we’ll do. But if not, I’m sure we’ll look toward next year.”
For now, Miguel Batista will be taking Gee’s turn in the rotation.
“He’s been really effective. If he pitches like he’s capable of pitching (on Saturday afternoon), I can see him being a big part of our rotation,” Collins said of Batista.
Batista, 41, has pitched fairly well as a starter this season. In four outings, he’s 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA.
Mets fans may be clamoring for Matt Harvey, but Collins said there’s no timetable for the highly-touted prospect’s MLB debut, and he’ll have to earn his spot on the big-league roster.
• Collins said the organization has not had any discussions about limiting Johan Santana's innings this season.
“It’s never been brought up,” Collins said. “And there’s even been no talk about pitch counts, to be honest.”
That doesn’t mean Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen haven’t been monitoring Santana. They have.
Santana is 3-4 with a 5.67 ERA in seven starts since throwing a career-high, 134-pitch no-hitter on June 1.
The 33-year-old left-hander will oppose Dodgers righty Aaron Harang on Friday night.
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