Trachsel to pitch in rotation for first time in season

Updated: August 23, 2005, 9:45 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- The New York Mets activated Steve Trachsel from the disabled list on Tuesday, returning the 11-year veteran to the rotation for the first time this season.

Steve Trachsel

Manager Willie Randolph said the right-hander will start Friday, when the Mets begin a three-game series at San Francisco.

That will involve moving back the next scheduled start of Kris Benson two days. Benson (9-5) was scheduled to pitch Friday but won't take the mound again until Sunday -- a week after he got two outs in the shortest outing of his career -- a 7-4 loss to Washington.

To open a roster spot, the Mets designated right-handed reliever Danny Graves for assignment.

Trachsel had surgery in Los Angeles on March 19 to repair a herniated disc in his back and was placed on the 60-day disabled list March 30. He said his recovery was complete.

"It feels good," Trachsel said. "I've felt really good for weeks."

Randolph originally felt Trachsel would work his way back into the rotation through the bullpen. But the next day he said there would be no pitch count in Trachsel's first start.

"Trach's in great shape, and he's been throwing a lot," he said.

Randolph wasn't concerned with having five relievers on the roster for the time being.

"It's not really a six-man rotation," he said. "We're just doing this for now. This will take us up to Sunday."

Benson took the break in his routine at face value.

"They have the luxury of doing it with Trachsel here," Benson said. "Two days is two days; it's not a whole turn. It will give me a chance chill a little bit, rest my shoulder a little bit and then come back on Sunday."

The 34-year-old Trachsel had a 12-13 record and 4.00 ERA in 33 starts last year, his 10th straight season with at least 28 starts. His career record is 118-131, including 50-47 since he joined the Mets in 2001.

Graves lost out in the numbers game to rookie Mike Jacobs, who homered Sunday in his first major league at-bat and made his second start at first base Tuesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks despite going 0-for-4 on Monday.

Jacobs was recalled from Double-A Binghamton as a catcher, an important consideration with Mike Piazza on the disabled list with a broken left hand.

"It's a roster spot, basically," Randolph said. "It's that we're a better team, we feel, right now with Jacobs as opposed to Graves. That's all that means. Danny has done a good job for us, I think. It just has to do with what kind of balance we have on our team."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press