NEW YORK -- With outfielder Cesar Puello out of options and not poised to make the big league club out of spring training, the New York Mets thought they had successfully passed the prospect through waivers and outrighted him to Triple-A Las Vegas on the eve of the season.
Then Puello complained of back discomfort. And after getting checked out by team doctors, Puello was discovered to have the precursor to a stress fracture in his back. The Mets were forced to rescind the demotion, return Puello to the 40-man roster and place him on the major league disabled list.
Now, Puello tying up a 40-man roster spot might be nearing its end.
General manager Sandy Alderson said Puello is within a few days of a new exam with team doctors. At that medical visit, Puello might be cleared to resume baseball activity.
There's still a little ways to go before Puello is deemed game-ready. Once that occurs, because Puello is out of options, the Mets again will need to try to pass him through waivers -- unless, that is, they decide to carry him on the major league roster, which is highly unlikely. If Puello is placed on waivers and goes unclaimed, he would remain with the Mets, but off the 40-man roster and in the minors.