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Mets mulling Kodai Senga rehab assignment as he gets closer to a return: ‘Everything is moving in the right direction’

ST. PETERSBURG — Kodai Senga could be one step closer to making his long-awaited season debut, with the potential next step being a big one.

The injured Mets ace threw 32 pitches in live batting practice Saturday, facing hitters for the third time. He “felt great” and reported no shoulder pain or discomfort. The next step might be a rehab assignment with a minor league affiliate.

However, the Mets will wait a few days to determine whether or not he’s ready for a rehab assignment.

“Now we’ll see how he responds the next few days so we can make a decision whether he throws on another live BP or we put him through a rehab assignment,” manager Carlos Mendoza said Sunday at Tropicana Field. “But everything is moving in the right direction.”

Senga has been out with a strained posterior capsule in his right shoulder since early in spring training. He received a PRP injection in February and resumed rehab. The Mets moved him to the 60-day injured list last month so the first day he’s eligible for activation is May 27. The club expects him to be ready to pitch around that time or soon after.

Losing an ace for this amount of time is a blow to any team, but the Mets could especially use the rotation help right now. The club moved struggling right-hander Adrian Houser to the bullpen and called up top pitching prospect Christian Scott to make a start Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays. Scott pitched exceptionally well in his rookie debut and will get another turn through the rotation, but the Mets are still struggling to get length from their starters.

When Senga returns the Mets are likely to go to a six-man rotation to be able to give Senga an extra day of rest before each start. This was effective for him last season, when he pitched well enough to earn NL Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award votes.


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