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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mets News and Notes: Gee's Replacement, Bay, Baxter, Duda, Trade Options

Mets News and Notes:

Matt Harvey will audition Monday with Triple-A Buffalo against Toledo for the rotation spot vacated by Dillon Gee, who underwent potentially season-ending surgery Friday in St. Louis to repair a damaged artery in his pitching shoulder.

Terry Collins said a bevy of front-office executives will watch Harvey's International League start to gauge his readiness to face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday at Citi Field. Collins said the decision for Gee's replacement essentially is down to Harvey and Miguel Batista. Zack Wheeler undoubtedly will be a consideration for a promotion soon as well, but not now, according to Collins.

Jason Bay's rehab assignment moved to Buffalo on Saturday after two games with Class A St. Lucie. He went 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts as the DH. Collins said it's realistic for Bay to return Tuesday, when the Mets open a series against the Nationals.  

Mike Baxter, meanwhile, is due to begin a rehab assignment today with St. Lucie. It will be Baxter's first game since dislocating his right collarbone on the June 1 catch that preserved Santana's no-hitter. 

Lucas Duda will be out of the starting lineup through the weekend with a barking left hamstring, which did not calm down during the All-Star break. Duda did pinch hit in the ninth Saturday, and said that action did not adversely affect his recovery. Once Bay returns, the slumping Duda's playing time could diminish anyway, particularly against left-handed pitching, when Scott Hairston should often be assigned to right field.

Peter Gammons reiterated that if the Mets are unsuccessful landing catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Rockies, they could turn to Boston's Kelly Shoppach.

Miguel Olivo and Oakland's Kurt Suzuki as other catching options, although the $7.1 million owed to Suzuki even after this season is an obstacle.

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