Mets starter Dillon Gee has struggled to find his early-season form since being activated from the 15-day disabled list on July 9.
In three starts after missing the better part of two months because of a shoulder injury, the right-hander has gone 1-2 and surrendered 11 runs in 17 innings (a 5.82 ERA), including six runs in five innings against the Brewers on Thursday.
There have been good signs for Gee, though. In his last outing in Milwaukee, he threw 91 pitches -- his most in more than two and a half months. It was a subtle yet important increase from the 80 pitches he delivered over five innings against the Padres on July 19.
Gee will head back to the mound on Tuesday against the Phillies, and manager Terry Collins said the right-hander would likely pitch well past 91 pitches in his fourth start back from the DL, as long as he remains efficient.
"He will be [on a pitch count]. I don't have a number in mind," Collins said. "If he gets in a situation where he's mowing them down, we can go 105-110 [pitches] without any question."
Gee said he "hopes" he won't be on any sort of pitch count when he faces off against Philadelphia southpaw Cole Hamels at Citi Field. Still, Gee is well aware of the toll stretching past 100 pitches could take on his body, especially considering his extended time off.
"To go deep into a game is mental endurance as much as it is physical, and sometimes when you haven't been able to do that in a while, it might tax you a little more," Gee said. "But hopefully, I'll start running out there deep in the game, get my endurance up and it'll become a natural thing."
Hamels, meanwhile, has heard his name thrown around as a potential trade piece with the non-waiver Trade Deadline approaching. However, it seems the left-hander -- who sports a 2.41 ERA in July -- is expected to stick around with the organization for the remainder of this season and beyond, unless a team meets the Phillies' extraordinarily high asking price.
Phillies: Gwynn released
The Phillies released Tony Gwynn Jr. on Monday. The outfielder was designated for assignment last week after playing 67 games for the team this season.
Gwynn hit .163 with three RBIs, two stolen bases and 14 runs scored for Philadelphia in 2014. He has appeared in 672 games and hit .239 with a .621 OPS over the course of his eight-year Major League career, during which he spent time with the Brewers, Dodgers, Padres and Phillies.
Mets: Campbell to play, potentially at first
Terry Collins didn't yet have Tuesday's lineup set, but Monday afternoon before his team's series-opening win over the Phillies, the manager was confident utility man Eric Campbell would get his first start since July 21 against Hamels. Where on the field, though, Collins did not know.
"There's a chance he'll be at first base," Collins said. "I could use him in the outfield. Again, I haven't decided on who's going to play and who's not tomorrow, but I know Eric's going to play."
First base is a logical option given Lucas Duda's struggles against left-handers generally (.153/.242/.220) and Hamels specifically (1-for-13, seven strikeouts). Campbell is 3-for-6 with a double off the Phillies' southpaw and slashes .327/.370/.449 against lefties.
"That's what you look for when you give anybody a day off," Collins said. "For Lucas, we've left him in pretty much this whole road trip no matter who they brought in, which has been good for him. But when you start a game, when you've got somebody who does do damage and somebody who doesn't, it might be the time to have a day off."
• Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is on the disabled list with a sore right elbow, is feeling better, and the inflammation has gone down since the club put him on the DL over the weekend, according to Collins. The right-hander could play catch later this week.
• The Phillies will hold a private workout for Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports.
Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.