SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Infielder Luis Castillo is expected to join the New York Mets when they open a three-game series at the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday and left-hander Oliver Perez should be close behind.
Perez, placed on the disabled list June 5 when the Mets said he had tendinitis in his right knee, could return as soon as Wednesday.
With Jose Reyes also expected back from a sore right side, the Mets will have their double-play combination intact for the first time since Castillo bruised his right heel on June 4.
Mets' manager Jerry Manuel said Reyes and Castillo would bat 1 and 2 in the order.
In the second year of a $36 million, three-year contract, Perez (6.28 ERA) lost his spot in the rotation this season and was banished to a mop-up role in the bullpen.
The team had hoped he would accept a minor league assignment, but he had the right to refuse.
Mets' manager Jerry Manuel made it clear that Perez would pitch out of the bullpen and confirmed that left-hander Hisanori Takahashi would make his scheduled start on Thursday in Los Angeles.