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SS Reyes cleared to return to Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE — The smile on Omar Minaya's face said it all. For a franchise ripped apart by misfortune the past few years, to hear Tuesday that Jose Reyes had been cleared to immediately rejoin the Mets was an indescribable relief.

"It's a good day," Minaya said.

The Mets got word that Reyes' thyroid levels had returned to normal, and the shortstop could barely contain himself as he spoke to reporters. What that means for opening day remains unclear.

This month, manager Jerry Manuel said that Reyes would need roughly 10 spring games to get up to speed, and there are only 11 left. Reyes, who has been shut down since March 4, has played only in an intrasquad game and will require a few days of workouts before returning to the lineup.

Manuel doubted that would happen until next week. When asked specifically about opening day, the GM hedged but did not rule it out.

"I don't want to say no," Minaya said. "Let's see when he gets here. Let's see how things go, but we're not going to say that he's not going to be ready."

In other Mets news, first baseman Ike Davis was optioned to the minors and likely will start the season at Triple-A Buffalo. Davis, 23, one of the team's top prospects, batted .480 with three homers this spring.

LEE STILL AILING: Mariners left-hander Cliff Lee felt some pain in his strained abdomen after his first on-field test of the injury, and he has no idea when he will be able to get on a mound again. That makes it possible Lee won't be ready when the season starts April 5 at Oakland.

NATHAN SURGERY: Twins closer Joe Nathan will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Friday in New York, reported. The surgery will be performed by Mets team physician David Altchek.

RELEASE ANGERS PITCHER: Veteran left-hander Scott Schoeneweis was irate over his release by the Brewers, saying he never had a chance to make the club in the first place. "The only regret I have is that I wasted a month of my time," Schoeneweis said. "I didn't have a chance to make the team. That's what I learned today."

DODGERS DIVORCE: Ex-Dodgers CEO Jamie McCourt said her estranged husband has at least $18 million available that could help pay for her spousal support in the couple's bitter divorce case, according to court documents. Jamie McCourt said Frank McCourt continues to live a lavish lifestyle while she has mounting bills and doesn't draw any income.

ANGELS: Right-hander Ervin Santana missed his scheduled start after bumping his elbow against a chair on Saturday. He is expected to start Sunday.

CUBS: Left-hander Ted Lilly, who is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, is unlikely to pitch in a spring game. He had been scheduled to start next week.

GIANTS: Left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who entered camp a favorite for the No. 5 starter's job, was optioned to Triple-A Fresno. Bumgarner, 20, considered the team's top pitching prospect, allowed five runs in seven innings over three outings while throwing mostly in the high 80s, a drop from his velocity in the minors.

PADRES: Right-hander Jon Garland threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session and is set to start Friday. Garland hasn't pitched in a game since March 16 because of a sore shoulder.

PIRATES: Manager John Russell picked left-hander Zach Duke as his opening-day starter, April 5 at home against the Dodgers. He named right-hander Daniel McCutchen as the fifth starter.

RED SOX: Second baseman Dustin Pedroia left the game against the Twins in the first inning with a mild left wrist sprain. Pedroia is day to day.

ROCKIES: Left-hander Joe Beimel returned to the team, agreeing to a minor-league contract pending a physical.

SS Reyes cleared to return to Mets 03/23/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 9:19pm]
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