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Trachsel to pitch in rotation for first time in season

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.

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."