NEW YORK -- Catcher Josh Thole should be the first of the Mets' injured regulars to return from the disabled list. Thole, who is recovering from a concussion, will start at designated hitter Wednesday night for Triple-A Buffalo, before spending a full game behind the plate on Thursday. Barring any setbacks, he should return to the Mets in time for Friday's series opener against the Cardinals.
Thole has been sidelined since Phillies first baseman Ty Wigginton crashed into him at home plate during a game on May 7, resulting in a concussion. But Thole has been catching in extended spring action and has not felt any dizziness in weeks, giving the Mets optimism that his injury is behind him. He was batting .284 with one home run in 26 games prior to his concussion.
Thole's appearance behind the plate Thursday will be notable also because he will catch Chris Young, who is also inching closer to a big league return. Young, who has already made three starts for Class A St. Lucie in his road back from right shoulder surgery, will make his Buffalo debut Thursday afternoon. General manager Sandy Alderson said he could "speculate" that Young will need at least one additional Minor League start before he is ready to return to the Mets.
"It was Chris' idea to move to Buffalo, so I think from that standpoint that's a real encouraging sign," Alderson said. "He felt that he was ready to move, so we'll see how he does on Thursday."
As for the club's other injured regulars, shortstop Ruben Tejada's timetable is still unclear. But outfielder Jason Bay "is certainly getting closer," according to Alderson, and could begin playing the field soon. Bay has been limited to DH duty in extended spring games because the Mets do not want him to risk re-injuring his fractured left rib.
"It's just caution," manager Terry Collins said. "If you talk to Jason, he will be the first to tell you there's only one way he plays the outfield. When he goes after a fly ball and he needs to leave his feet, he will do that. And he's not ready to do that yet."
In for Turner, Quintanilla stars in Mets debut
NEW YORK -- Omar Quintanilla arrived at Citi Field as expected on Tuesday, replacing Justin Turner on the Mets' active roster. One day after Turner injured his right ankle during a rundown against the Phillies, the team placed him on the disabled list and recalled Quintanilla from Triple-A Buffalo, starting him at shortstop.
Just that quickly, Quintanilla became the sixth player to man shortstop for the Mets this season, following Ruben Tejada, Ronny Cedeno, Turner, Jordany Valdespin and David Wright.
Quintanilla responded with a 3-for-4 night, with two doubles and two runs scored in the Mets' 6-3 win.
"I try to go out there and have good at-bats all the time," said Quintanilla. "Baseball, it's tough. When you have games like this, you've got to enjoy them."
Turner received an MRI Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, and the results revealed a sprain in his foot with partial ligament damage. He was in the clubhouse a walking boot following Tuesday's game.
"The doctor seemed like it was pretty good news for me," Turner said. "It's day to day to see how it responds to the treatments and stuff. They said as soon as I can bare weight on it, I can get this big thing off my foot and go from there."
The Mets did receive a bit of good news on Cedeno, who ramped up his activities Tuesday in his attempt to return from a strained left calf. Cedeno could be ready as soon as Friday, manager Terry Collins said, and will start at shortstop upon his return.
In the interim, the job will belong to Quintanilla, who was hitting .282 with six home runs in 48 games for Buffalo.
"I'm ready to play short as long as it takes," Quintanilla said before his Mets debut. "It's unfortunate what happened to Tejada and Turner and Cedeno. I'll just go out there and play hard and help this team win."
A veteran of parts of six big league seasons with the Rockies and Rangers, Quintanilla had been impressing Triple-A manager Wally Backman with his combination of offensive and defensive skills.
"Wally said he is as complete a shortstop as he's been around," said Collins, who spoke to Backman at length on Monday night. "He said he's got great hands, makes all the plays, is an accurate thrower, he's swinging the bat good. Wally really, really likes him."
Even so, the Mets are hoping that Quintanilla's stay on the big club is temporary. Tejada also received an examination on Tuesday, arriving at Citi Field later in the afternoon and telling Collins that he feels ready to return from the strained right quad that has sidelined him since May 7.
"So that was good news," Collins said. "But that was from Ruben."
Tejada will stay in New York for the remainder of the week to receive treatment, and the next step in his recovery will be determined on Friday.
Schwinden recalled as Acosta designated
NEW YORK -- Manny Acosta's rocky tenure with the Mets officially came to an end on Tuesday, when the team designated him for assignment and recalled right-hander Chris Schwinden from Triple-A Buffalo.
Acosta struggled consistently throughout the first two months of the season, giving up a three-run homer Monday to bloat his ERA to 11.86, while averaging more than two baserunners per inning. Though he ranked among the team's best relievers in 2010 and '11, he was unable to duplicate that success in 2012.
While Acosta navigates the waiver wire, the Mets will proceed with Schwinden, who was available only in an emergency Tuesday because he had pitched two days earlier. Schwinden and Jack Egbert should give the Mets multiple middle-innings options for the time being, with another reinforcement potentially on the way.
Once Pedro Beato is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on June 3, general manager Sandy Alderson said, he should be healthy enough to join either the Mets or one of their Minor League affiliates. Beato has been sidelined since Spring Training with right shoulder stiffness.
"I would fully expect that he will be healthy and ready to go and pitch somewhere on [June 3]," Alderson said. "Whether it's here or someplace else, I couldn't predict."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Ethan Asofsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.