PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Mets starting pitcher Jason Vargas traveled to Colorado on Saturday for a second opinion on his sore left hip, which may require surgery.

Vargas, 25, has had a history of injuries in his short tenure with the Mets. After starting two games for New York in 2007, he underwent offseason surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow.

The left hip had been an issue all month for Vargas, who seemed certain to begin the season with Triple-A New Orleans. The left-hander had pitched only one inning in the Grapefruit League this spring.

The Mets on Saturday also optioned reliever Ruddy Lugo to Triple-A. Lugo, signed in January for bullpen depth, had a 4.15 ERA in five spring outings.