PORT ST. LUCIE — Jose Reyes is a step closer to appearing in his first spring game.
The Mets shortstop took batting practice against minor-league pitchers Monday morning and said the session went better than expected.
Reyes has participated in six workouts since returning to camp Wednesday after a three-week absence with a hyperactive thyroid that prevented him from doing any physical activity.
"I put the ball in play," he said. "That's what I want, and I saw a lot of good pitches, so it was good."
In eight at-bats, Reyes put the ball in play seven times.
OBAMA'S PITCH: President Barack Obama will throw out the ceremonial first ball at the Nationals' opener April 5 against the Phillies, marking the 100th anniversary of a presidential pitch to start the season. William Howard Taft did it April 14, 1910.
In other Nationals news, right-hander Stephen Strasburg is set to make his minor-league debut for Double-A Harrisburg against Altoona on April 11. And right-handers Craig Stammen and Livan Hernandez were named to the starting rotation.
ASTROS: Right-hander Roy Oswalt will be able to make his club-record eighth straight opening day start after getting an injection into his lower back.
A'S: Former Rays right-hander Chad Gaudin, released last week by the Yankees, will get $700,000 under his one-year deal and can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses.
CARDINALS: Right-hander Kyle McClellan is headed to the bullpen, making left-hander Jaime Garcia the club's fifth starter. … Right-hander Chris Carpenter was named the starter for the April 5 opener in Cincinnati.
MARINERS: Left-hander Erik Bedard threw about 20 pitches off a mound from the stretch. It was his first mound work since surgery to repair a torn labrum in August. … Left-hander Cliff Lee had a hearing on his appeal of a five-game suspension postponed.
MARLINS: Gaby Sanchez was named the starting first baseman, and top prospect Logan Morrison was reassigned to minor-league camp.
ORIOLES: Right-handed reliever Koji Uehara expects to start the season on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
PIRATES: Former starting rightfielder Brandon Moss, acquired from Boston in the Jason Bay trade in July 2008, was removed from the 40-man roster. … Manager John Russell plans to bat his pitcher eighth.
ROYALS: Infielder Alberto Callaspo might not be ready for the season opener April 5 because of an irritation in his right side.