Mets activate d'Arnaud, place Milone on DL

Club considering using Smoker to start Saturday's game in Pittsburgh

Mets activate d'Arnaud, place Milone on DL

NEW YORK -- When addressing reporters Wednesday before the Mets faced the Padres, Travis d'Arnaud was unaware if he would be activated from the disabled list after rehabbing a wrist injury.

"I think I'm going to find out shortly," he said.

He found out roughly two hours later that he would be eligible to play against the Padres on Wednesday night. The Mets activated d'Arnaud while placing left-hander Tommy Milone on the DL with a sprained left knee.

Though d'Arnaud did not start Wednesday's game, he is scheduled to on Thursday. He flied out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning of the Mets' 6-5 loss. While on the DL, d'Arnaud rested for slightly more than a week and experienced no pain or setbacks during the rehab process beyond that, saying he feels much healthier than when he dealt with a similar injury earlier in the season. He also saw his brother, Chase d'Arnaud, who was recently picked up by the Padres, before Wednesday's game.

Now, Mets manager Terry Collins will have a decision to make when it comes to handling the playing time between d'Arnaud and Rene Rivera. Rivera, who is hitting .287 and recently came off an 11-game hitting streak, has proved invaluable for the Mets during d'Arnaud's absence.

Collins lamented during his pregame news conference that he had been asked the same question all week of how he would handle d'Arnaud's return and Rivera's hot bat. The answer will determine how the catching duties are split going forward.

"We'll pick and choose our spots," Collins said. "We're gonna use both guys. We've got to get him back in there obviously. Both catchers are gonna need some rest, some time off."

Although Collins has a penchant for playing the hot hand, he does not expect it to be a laboring decision.

"It'll be easy," Collins said. "They're both pretty good hitters."

Milone's injury took a difficult decision out of the Mets' hands, with the veteran left-hander originally scheduled to start Saturday despite a 10.50 ERA in three outings for the Mets. In Milone's absence, the team is debating between right-hander Rafael Montero and lefty Josh Smoker for Saturday's start, according to a source, and is leaning toward Smoker.

Though Smoker has never started a game in the big leagues, the Mets recently stretched him out as a starter at Triple-A Las Vegas in an effort to force him to use all his pitches. He is at least as stretched out as Montero, who has not started a game since May 5, and Smoker could potentially offer the Mets better results. In one start and 11 relief appearances this season, Montero owns an 8.10 ERA.

Smoker said that pitching an inning in Wednesday's loss to the Padres would not affect his availability for Saturday.

"If that's what happens, yeah, I'll be good to go," Smoker said. "But I'm not 100 percent sure what's going to happen Saturday."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.