NEW YORK -- On the same day that Kevin Plawecki returned to the Mets' lineup following a two-game absence, Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud began playing in games in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
d'Arnaud caught five innings in an extended spring training game, going 1-for-3 with a run scored. The Mets hope that he can begin a Minor League rehab assignment in the coming days, putting him in line to return to the team next week either in San Diego or Phoenix. d'Arnaud has been on the disabled list since April 20 with a fractured right pinkie.
"We all know that Travis is on the road back," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But let's not put any dates on it just yet. We've had too many interruptions along the way here."
When d'Arnaud does return, it will almost certainly mean a demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas for Plawecki, whose 4-for-32 slump prompted the Mets to play Anthony Recker over him on Sunday and Monday. Collins said he noticed signs of fatigue from Plawecki, resulting in his decision to give the rookie a two-day rest.
Even if d'Arnaud whizzes through the final stage of his rehab, Plawecki will have to start at least another week's worth of games at catcher for the Mets.
"We need him to play as well as he's been playing," Collins said. "He's had a little slide at the plate, but that's something you've got to deal with. We hope that the energy level's back up there where he gets a little strength back, because I know he's probably a little beaten down. But he can't worry about the next week or next two weeks."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.