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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mets News and Notes: Wright Hitting, Hefner Elbow, den Dekker out two months, Feliciano still a Met, Marcum Concerns

Mets News and Notes:

Shuttling between a pair of minor league fields to maximize his at-bats, David Wright went 1-for-5 as a DH on Tuesday, singling and scoring in his final at-bat. The game was Wright's first since March 12, when he produced five RBIs against Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic and cemented his "Captain America" nickname.

Wright expects to play in another minor league game Thursday.

“It felt OK,” Wright said. “I haven’t played since a couple of weeks ago. I felt like the timing was OK, better towards the fifth at-bat. But it was good to get that number of ABs that quickly. It felt as comfortable as, I guess, I could taking the two weeks off. … I finally got on base the fifth at-bat, so I was able to stretch the legs out a little bit. So it felt good.”

As for Opening Day, Wright said: “I’ve been optimistic about Opening Day since I came back to St. Lucie and I talked with the doctors and the trainers about the diagnosis. As I said yesterday, it’s kind of the same thing today: It’s another step closer. I’m still very optimistic.”

Jeremy Hefner was struck in the right elbow with a one-hop comebacker in the fourth inning of Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the St. Louis Cardinals and departed. Hefner was headed for X-rays on the elbow, but the Mets did not believe the injury was severe, pitching coach Dan Warthen told ESPN's Tim Kurkjian.

The Mets already are dealing with issues to starting pitchers Johan Santana (shoulder) and Shaun Marcum (neck).

Matt den Dekker, who suffered a fractured right wrist on an attempted catch, will near to wear a cast for six weeks.

That means, even conservatively, that den Dekker will be sidelined from game action into June.

After considering opting out, Pedro Feliciano has agreed to remain with the organization.

Feliciano has been asked to work at Triple-A Las Vegas for a month to build up shoulder strength.

The Mets have "legitimate concerns" about Shaun Marcum's availability for the season because of a neck issue that arose during Monday's bullpen session, pitching coach Dan Warthen said.

Marcum is only first being examined by medical personnel this morning.

The Mets are now eyeing Game 5 of the season for Marcum -- not Game 2, which had been the original intent.

Another option: using Jonathon Niese twice before Marcum would make his Mets debut in Game 6, April 7 against the Miami Marlins. That would allow the Mets to place Marcum on the DL to start the season and carry an extra reliever for nearly a full week.

Warthen said the current issue with Marcum is different than the shoulder impingement that was treated with a cortisone shot last Tuesday.

"I think everyone has legitimate concerns," Warthen said. "I mean, it's a place where we've never known it to be before. We have to have it examined and find out where we are."

One thing is certain: Marcum will not be pitching Thursday in Grapefruit League play, which had been the intent.

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