Black's low rehab velocity causes Mets some concern

Black's low rehab velocity causes Mets some concern

SAN DIEGO -- Vic Black's low velocity throughout his Minor League rehab stint has the Mets questioning their former setup man's readiness for the big leagues. As a result, Black is shifting his rehab to Triple-A Las Vegas, despite five consecutive scoreless outings at Double-A Binghamton.

Manager Terry Collins said Black has been sitting at 93-94 mph in the Minors, several ticks lower than what he averaged in New York last season. The right-handed reliever has been on the disabled list since Opening Day due to right shoulder tendinitis, which the club originally expected to sideline him only for a week or two.

"His velocity is not what we know it to be," Collins said. "I just know that that's what got him here and that's all we've seen. We have yet to see Vic Black pitch at 93, 94. We've seen him pitch at 95, 96, 97. So if he's going to pitch at three or four miles an hour less than what he has, command of his fastball has to be very sharp. You can't live in the middle of the strike zone with a 93-mph fastball. That's average stuff to these guys these days."

Black has since enjoyed success in the Minors, striking out five batters with three hits and a walk over his last five scoreless outings. But the Mets are uncertain about his ability to see similar success in the Majors.

"We have to be 100-percent sure he's ready," Collins said. "A little time in Vegas won't hurt him."

Other Mets injury updates:

• Catcher Travis d'Arnaud and second baseman Dilson Herrera are both scheduled to begin rehab assignments Thursday for Class A St. Lucie. D'Arnaud has not played since suffering a setback in his rehab from a fractured right pinkie last Thursday. Herrera will be playing for the first time since fracturing his right middle finger in mid-May.

• Bobby Parnell's struggles continued Wednesday night at Binghamton. The former closer gave up three runs in an inning, increasing his ERA to 34.71 over his last three outings. Parnell has walked five batters and struck out one over that stretch.

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.