David Wright is on the road back to the Mets starting lineup.
The All-Star third baseman, on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, flew to Florida on Sunday to begin baseball activities at the club’s minor league complex in Port St. Lucie.
“He’s going to start doing baseball activities tomorrow (Monday),” Terry Collins said before the first pitch of Sunday’s Subway Series finale. “He’s going to start catching ground balls. He’s going to start jogging and doing some running around on the field a bit.”
Wright suffered the injury during a steal of second base in a 6-5 win over the Phillies at Citi Field. He said last Thursday that he felt he was improving daily.
Wright is eligible to come off the DL Thursday but Collins said, “That would be, I don’t really think realistic. . . . If he’s back here by Saturday, it would be really good.”
That’s a more optimistic view than GM Sandy Alderson initially described when the club moved him to the DL. Alderson thought three weeks would be the expectation.
Wright has said that he is isn’t going to rush because he doesn’t want to suffer a setback and miss more time.
HIP TO BE SCARED?
Jacoby Ellsbury was not in the Yankees’ lineup after leaving Saturday’s loss in the eighth inning with a tight hip.
“He was better and he was going to try it today … but I sort of shut him down,” Joe Girardi said. “I was going to give him a day off anyway in the next four days.
“But I think it’s kind of silly if you have to leave in the middle of the game, so I shut him down and hopefully he’ll be in there (Monday).”
Ellsbury has not addressed the media since removing himself from Saturday’s game. It was unclear how he was injured, although he made a spectacular sliding catch on the warning track in left-center to rob Mets third baseman Eric Campbell of an extra-base hit in Saturday’s fourth inning.
The $ 153 million center fielder, who began Sunday tied for fourth in the AL with 14 runs scored, missed extensive time during spring training with an oblique injury. Chris Young (1-for-4, RBI, run) started in center field, with Brett Gardner (2-for-4, RBI, two runs) moving into the leadoff spot.
The Mets will use Rafael Montero to start Tuesday’s game in Miami as they use six pitchers this time through the starting rotation. They could do something like that a few more times as part of a strategy to keep ace Matt Harvey in 180-to-190 innings range for the regular season. Harvey, who went 8.2 innings Saturday, is averaging 6.2 innings per start after four starts. On that pace, he would throw almost 200 innings in 30 starts.
THE CHASE IS ON
The Yanks, who are in the midst of a 30-games-in-31-days stretch, will also go with sixth starter this week. Righthander Chase Whitley will be recalled from Triple-A Scranton to start Tuesday against Tampa Bay, with Masahiro Tanaka now slated to pitch on Wednesday.
“Now, can something happen to change that? I guess. I don’t know what it would be, but those are our intentions,” Girardi said. … Danny Muno got his first big league start on Sunday, as the Mets’ designated hitter, but was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. . . . The Mets, at 14-5, still have the best record in baseball.
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