NEW YORK -- Jenrry Mejia's transition to relieving -- and closing, specifically -- has been a slow one.
The process has been hindered by the Mets' recent lack of success -- the team is 4-7 since Mejia's last start, and therefore with few save situations.
After pitching a scoreless ninth Wednesday in the Dodgers' 4-3 win, the right-hander has four relief appearances, tossing 4 1/3 scoreless innings while fanning five, walking none and allowing five hits.
Manager Terry Collins acknowledged that he will have to give Mejia work, save situation or not. However, that brings about another delicate balance. If, for example, Mejia pitched in Tuesday's 9-4 loss to the Dodgers, his availability for Wednesday's game would have been questionable given that he has yet to pitch in back-to-back games.
"You take the chance of just running him out there and having him throw 25, 26 pitches, and then you don't have him the next day," Collins said. "And that's the biggest thing you worry about -- when you stick your closer in a game when it's not a closing situation, because you worry about tomorrow and who you're going to have, he may not be available. So you have to pick and choose."
Once Mejia clears the mental and physical hurdle of pitching two days in a row, managing his workload will be simpler. But for now, that's not the case.
"It's an unknown entity right now because we don't know how he's going to feel the second day," Collins said. "And if he pitches two days in a row, is he going to be able to take a day off and come back? Those are the things we don't know yet."
Lagares rejoins club from trip to mourn aunt
NEW YORK -- Center fielder Juan Lagares returned to the Mets for Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Dodgers, following a one-day absence to grieve his aunt's death in the Dominican Republic.
The Mets inserted Lagares right back into the starting lineup, batting him leadoff against left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu. Chris Young played left field and Granderson played right, with Eric Young Jr. shifting to the bench.
"I have to be ready," said Lagares before going 3-for-5, lifting his batting average to .315. "I spent a couple days with my family. They're doing a little better now, and I feel better to see them. We've just got to keep doing what we're doing here."
Lagares flew to the Dominican Republic on the Mets' off-day Monday to be with his family. His late aunt raised him there as a child.
"We were very close," Lagares said.
d'Arnaud progressing well from concussion
NEW YORK -- A day after general manager Sandy Alderson could not offer a clear prognosis on concussed catcher Travis d'Arnaud, manager Terry Collins said d'Arnaud has made "a lot" of progress over the course of 24 hours.
"He passed the impact test that we give him. He's passed the physical stuff that we make him go through here," Collins said. "[Thursday] he'll be examined by a doctor and see how he's doing. And then we'll find out what the next step is."
d'Arnaud has been out of action since Alfonso Soriano's backswing caught him on the head May 13. Collins indicated d'Arnaud, once he passes all of the required tests, won't be held back.
"When he's ready to play, he'll be back in there," Collins said.
Left-handed batter Juan Centeno and right-handed batter Anthony Recker have platooned in d'Arnaud's absence. Centeno, who is 3-for-10 with a walk in three games, has been "fine," in Collins' eyes.
"He's handled the bat good. He's a defensive little guy," Collins said. "He's lived up to everything we've seen in the past. He's not a big power guy, but he puts the bat on the wall. He's done fine."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.