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Frank Francisco out for a few days

9/15/2013

NEW YORK -- Mets reliever Frank Francisco is not available Sunday because of his bruised pitching hand, and manager Terry Collins said he doesn't expect to have Francisco for three to four days.

Francisco, who was hit by a line drive in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, doesn't believe he'll be out for three days, but said he has to see how his right hand responds -- it's still swollen.

"Doesn't hurt as much as it did last night," Francisco said Sunday. "Last night it was pumping. Now, it's only when I move it."

Francisco has pitched in just four games for the Mets this season, following a slow rehab process after undergoing surgery to remove a bone spur in his pitching elbow last December. He hasn't pitched well since returning on Sept. 8, posting a 10.13 ERA in 2 2/3 innings of work.

Collins said he does expect to have Francisco back this season. The Mets have 14 games left.

HAWKINS TO STAY? Collins also said he would be in favor of having veteran relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins stick with the Mets next season. Hawkins, 40, received a spring training invitation this year and emerged as one of the team's most reliable bullpen arms, with a 3.20 ERA and 10 saves.

"When you're talking about the future of the organization in 2014 and all the young guys, to have a quality guy like LaTroy Hawkins among those young guys I think would be a real benefit," said Collins. "Certainly if he wants to come back and we're talking about all those young relief pitchers coming up, it would be nice to have him around."

Hawkins has filled in as the team's closer since Bobby Parnell was sidelined with a herniated disc in his neck in late July, and Hawkins' 10 saves are the most he's had since 2009. He hasn't yielded a run in 19 of his past 21 appearances, and recorded a save in Saturday's nightcap.

Collins, who said he hasn't talked with GM Sandy Alderson about next year's roster yet, likes how Hawkins has mentored some of the younger pitches in the bullpen.

"He's had several conversations with the likes of Robert Carson, a few other guys about how to approach a hitter. Perhaps things they have to get better at to get outs. I've heard a lot of guys say 'Hawk talked to me about this, Hawk talked to me about that,'" Collins said. "You look at the way the bullpen, (how) they're always together. That's LaTroy Hawkins."