NEW YORK -- So much for an impending return from former closer Frank Francisco.
Francisco, who has been battling inflammation in his surgically repaired right elbow since the early days of Spring Training, skipped his scheduled bullpen session Saturday due to unexpected elbow discomfort. The Mets plan to send him for a medical checkup this week, with no timetable for his return to the mound.
"I have concerns about Frank," manager Terry Collins said. "But guys that aren't here? When they're ready to pitch, call me. Right now, I've got enough issues with guys that are here."
Francisco seemed primed for a promotion to Double-A Binghamton as soon as this weekend, or perhaps even a trip straight to the Majors. Instead, the former closer took a step back into rehab purgatory, awaiting the results of this week's checkup.
"What that leads to, I have no idea," Collins said. "We did not have any date etched in stone that we knew he was coming. It's one of those things that when you've got a guy on the disabled list, you wait until he tells you he's ready to pitch."
In Francisco's absence, Bobby Parnell has seized the closer's role, saving three games in five opportunities.
Mets use pink to show appreciation for moms
NEW YORK -- In the happier hours leading up to Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Pirates, Mets first baseman Ike Davis ran through the clubhouse with his usual bravado.
"It's time to call Mrs. Davis!" he announced to no one in particular.
And so like many of his teammates, Davis took time on Mother's Day to honor his mom, Millie, who works as a nurse in the Phoenix area. Other Mets represented their mothers on the field, from Daniel Murphy's pink bats to David Wright's pink ankle guard to John Buck's pink fingernail stickers, which he used to relay signs to his pitchers.
The pink gear was part of an annual Major League Baseball initiative to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research. Game-used items will be auctioned off on MLB.com, with proceeds going to MLB charities in support of breast cancer research.
Collins revamps Mets batting order around Ike
NEW YORK -- Seeking to jump start his offense by simplifying his batting order, Mets manager Terry Collins clumped all his best power threats in the middle of Sunday's lineup against the Pirates.
"We've got some guys that their job is to drive in runs," Collins said. "So we're putting them in a position where they can drive in runs."
The new lineup card featured David Wright batting third, Ike Davis fourth and Lucas Duda fifth, grouping the two lefties together for the first time this season. Duda had recently jumped ahead of Davis on the card, with the slumping first baseman regularly batting seventh.
That will no longer be the case, at least for the foreseeable future. With a run of right-handed pitchers awaiting them over the next week in New York, St. Louis and Chicago, Collins will use his new lineup every day regardless of results.
The goal is to spark Davis, which the manager hopes will in turn ignite the rest of his offense.
"Obviously I need to perform," Davis said. "But I've done it the majority of my career, batting fourth, and we were winning games even when I wasn't doing well hitting fourth. Hopefully putting me back there, that starts us getting on a couple winning streaks."
The Mets entered Sunday's play averaging 2.4 runs per game over their previous five contests, with Davis homerless over his last 13 games.
Familia to DL as Mets call Burke for 'pen aid
NEW YORK -- With Jeurys Familia still battling a bout of right biceps tendinitis and the bullpen in desperate need of available arms, the Mets placed Familia on the disabled list Sunday and recalled submariner Greg Burke from Triple-A Buffalo.
Familia, who has not thrown since reporting soreness following Wednesday's game against the White Sox, will travel to Florida for treatment and rehab. His disabled list stint is retroactive to May 9, making him eligible to return on May 24.
"I talked to him this morning, and he actually said he felt better today," manager Terry Collins said. "But he still has some symptoms of the tendinitis. I just told him he has to slow down."
The Mets were happy simply to replace Familia with a pitcher capable of providing multiple innings of relief. Burke, who originally broke camp with the Mets as a quasi-long man, spent his time in Vegas streamlining out his delivery, positioning himself more on a straight line with home plate. The result, he said, was better control and increased sink on his pitches.
Though he struggled throughout his three-week stint in Vegas, Burke threw a clean inning in his last outing Thursday.
"I'm still fairly new with this delivery," said Burke, who began employing his submarine style full time last spring. "I just worked on being more consistent."