The Mets have flopped R.A. Dickey and Jon Niese in the rotation. Niese will go Thursday against the Padres and Dickey on Friday against the Orioles. The move gives knuckleballer Dickey extra rest.
Right-hander John Maine, who has been on the disabled list since May 22 with shoulder tendinitis, is coming along faster than expected and could be back in the Mets' rotation as soon as next week. He threw a simulated game yesterday and will make a minor league rehab appearance this weekend.
Manager Jerry Manuel told reporters that when Maine returns, Hisanori Takahashi is headed back to the bullpen.
"We like Takahashi as a pitcher," Manuel said "[But] we think we have lost something in the bullpen when he's a starter, so that's a scenario that could work if and when John Maine is healthy and we feel he's ready to be part of the rotation."
-- David Andriesen