The John Maine comeback saga inched forward yesterday, or at least remained on life support, when he was given the green light for another simulated inning today at Shea Stadium. Maine, who has become weary of talking more than pitching, woke up without any physical issues after Saturday's session and didn't feel like going into much detail. Maine threw 24 pitches in his session Saturday.
"I'm fine," Maine said, leaning back on the clubhouse sofa before yesterday's game. "See you guys tomorrow."
While the Mets are on board with Maine's efforts to return, despite a bone spur irritating his rotator cuff, neither manager Jerry Manuel nor pitching coach Dan Warthen sounds very enthusiastic about it.
After seeing him Saturday, when Maine struggled with command and velocity, Manuel said yesterday that this comeback try is more for Maine than the Mets.
"Because he has this type of optimism and expectation, you don't really want to go out and squash them," Manuel said. "For his sake, that's the only place I'm coming from. I'm not looking for John Maine to come back and be the bullpen guy because we've had some trouble around there. That's not my concern right now."
Even if Maine clears today's hurdle, Manuel said he would have to discuss the matter with the Mets' medical staff before the team chooses to activate him from the disabled list.
"We'll have to sit down again with the doctors and make sure we're doing the right thing," Manuel said. "We've got to make sure that we don't risk any further injury. So we'll go through that process again."