NYM@CLE: d'Arnaud catches Stubbs trying to steal

CLEVELAND -- Since making his debut on Aug. 17, catcher Travis d'Arnaud has more strikeouts than base hits.

Hailed as the organization's No. 2 prospect, d'Arnaud was hitting .154 (8-for-52) over his first 16 games with the Mets entering Saturday. The slow start hasn't fazed New York manager Terry Collins, who realizes that, while the season is nearing its end, d'Arnaud's career is just beginning.

"This time of year, you should be looking, I don't care where they play, they should be at 400 at-bats. He's a long way from that," Collins said. "So I just think that we've got to reserve our judgment on where Travis is offensively and make sure that he continues to play, understand what it takes to be successful here."

Within his 60 plate appearances, d'Arnaud has two doubles, one home run, seven walks, 12 strikeouts and a sacrifice fly. He has driven in three runs and scored three runs.

He might not be powering the Mets' offense, but Collins is impressed by his catching ability.

"He's handled himself very well," Collins said. "I tell you, he receives the ball as good as any guys that have been around. He gets the low pitch. He receives that low pitch as good as anybody and he gets the called strikes."

The Mets don't seem to feel there's any reason to think their 24-year-old prospect will be anything other than a complete contributor to the team's goals in future years. After all, d'Arnaud has been a Major League player for less than a month.

"He's a real smart guy and he's going to get it," Collins said, "and he's going to know what he has to do when he comes in next year to certainly play at the quality we need him to play."

Wright to continue rehab with Mets in New York

KC@NYM: Wright comes up lame beating out infield hit

CLEVELAND -- David Wright chose to take his rehab to Port St. Lucie, Fla., partly in order to face live pitching. As it turned out, none of the hurlers there are doing any hurling.

That's what Mets manager Terry Collins said on Saturday, before informing reporters that Wright was headed back to New York and would see the team after the current road trip wraps up on Sunday. Though Collins said Wright was having a "a little bit of a rough time" in Florida, he was emphatic in communicating that there have been no setbacks with Wright's strained right hamstring.

"He's not getting done what we hoped he would, so he can do it with us," Collins said. "He'll come up and do what he was going to do down there. We certainly have people who can do the running progression with him and we've got plenty of arms to throw BP and get the ground balls. He might as well do it with us, so we can keep a better eye on him."

Wright, 30, went on the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 3. In 105 games this season, the seven-time All-Star is batting .309/.391/.512 with 16 home runs and 54 RBIs. He also has 17 stolen bases in 20 attempts.

The season is over for high Class A St. Lucie, and Collins said the organization's pitchers who are there are hurt, making it fairly difficult for Wright to see the live pitching he sought. Also, Collins said a few members of the Mets' medical staff there are dealing with health issues of their own, so one trainer has been forced to treat 12 or 13 guys, in the manager's estimation.

"I talked to David two days ago. He feels great. He just said, 'Look, there's nobody here to face,'" Collins said. "We need to get him up to where he can get some treatment done."

Mets plan on giving Flores some time to rest ankles

NYM@LAD: Flores makes an outstanding diving stop

CLEVELAND -- Wilmer Flores took a couple swings in Friday's loss that convinced Mets skipper Terry Collins that he's not yet healthy enough to play.

Flores, who's dealing with two ailing ankles, insisted to Collins that he's fine, but the manager thinks it's very possible that Flores will need a week or so on the bench to get back to a condition that allows him to be effective.

"He tells me he's feeling OK," Collins said, "but I'm not sure he can pivot like he wants to on that front ankle. He plants that front foot and he hits against it. In the one at-bat, he almost fell down.

"I just think it's causing him more problems and, again, he wants to play. He's not going to let it get to him. He knows he's not 100 percent. He wants to go out there and play. And I salute that. But we also have got to be careful we don't hurt him in a situation where we lose half the winter trying to rehab his ankles."

Justin Turner started at third base on Saturday and hit fifth in the lineup. Regardless of his health, Flores wouldn't have played, because with ground-ball specialist Jon Niese on the mound for New York, Collins wanted to use his best defensive infield.

Flores, 22, is the Mets' No. 4 prospect. He had both of his ankles taped before Saturday's game.

Collins is worried that if Flores continues playing though pain, he could develop bad habits while trying to compensate for his current limitations.

The manager does not anticipate shutting Flores down for the year because of how important Major League experience is to his development. When Flores does play, though, Collins doesn't want to see him perform poorly because of his injuries and suffer negative evaluations as a result.

"That's unfair to have a kid who's not 100 percent to go out there and struggle," Collins said.

After debuting on Aug. 6, Flores is toting a .219/.266/.301 slash line with three doubles, one homer and 11 RBIs.

Quote to note

"Always. Get on top of the plate. Wear an elbow pad. Take a couple for the club. There's all sorts of things you can do. It's easy to say and a little harder to do."
-- Collins, on whether there's more outfielder Eric Young Jr. can do to reach base

Worth noting

• Young, who batted leadoff and played left on Saturday, had six stolen bases in his previous eight games. With 19 steals since the All-Star break, Young leads the Majors. Collins said Young has more than helped in making up for the Mets' inability in the offseason to sign Michael Bourn, who chose Cleveland.

"He's doing a great job for us," Collins said. "Unfortunately, we didn't get [Bourn]. But Eric Young has stepped up and certainly done what we would hope that the guy at the top of the order could do for you. ... His speed has certainly changed the way we play the game."

In 125 games this year entering Saturday, Young was hitting .254/.318/.346 with 21 doubles, three triples and two home runs. He had 26 RBIs and 62 runs scored, with 35 stolen bases in 44 attempts.

• The Mets slotted Zach Lutz into the designated-hitter role on Saturday, when the Indians started right-hander Corey Kluber.

"He absolutely kills right-handed pitching," Collins said. "So I thought, you know what, today might be a day to get him in there. He needs to play. We'll get him in there and see, maybe he gets something out over the plate and can do some damage."

Lutz had eight Major League plate appearances vs. righties entering Satuday, in which he has a pair of singles in seven at-bats, with a walk and two strikeouts. In 304 at-bats off right-handers with Triple-A Las Vegas, Lutz had a .316/.395/.520 slash line.

• The Mets activated right-hander Frank Francisco from the 60-day DL, and he is expected to join the Mets in Cleveland on Saturday or Sunday. Depending on when he arrives, he could be eligible to play in Saturday night's contest. Right elbow problems have prevented Francisco from playing for the Mets this season. In 12 Minor League games, he went 0-2 with a 0.75 ERA, with 14 strikeouts and three walks in 12 innings.