News: John Maine should Start Sunday in Philly

John Maine threw a bullpen session yesterday and told reporters he expects to pitch in a simulated game tomorrow.

Prior to yesterday’s game, Jerry Manuel said, if all goes well, Maine will likely pitch in the first game of a double-header in Philadelphia on Sunday.

…from what i can gather, he’ll probably be allowed to throw around 65 pitches, so newly-promoted Tobi Stoner will be ready to pitch in long reliefstoner will wear No. 29… it’s too bad they don’t make three-digit jerseys

Maine said he ‘feels good,’ and, though he is still not 100 percent in terms of arm strength, he hopes to get three or four starts before the end of the season.

That said, he explained, with some rest and hard work this winter, while sticking to his rehab program, he expects to be ‘just fine’ for spring training.

there has been a lot of online talk about whether the Mets will tender maine a contract next season… i believe he’ll be back… and i hope he is i don’t know how the contract will shake out, but, from what i can gather, the Mets have no interest in cutting him loose – and they have every intention of having him around through at least spring training… they still love his arm, and talk about his effortless delivery… if he can adjust his workouts, and stay healthy, they still think he can be a major factor in the rotation… as do i… he’s eligible for arbitration, and will likely get around $2.5 million… he is not able to be a free agent until after the 2011 season

When asked if he returned to prove his value, in advance of such off-season questions, Maine said, “I just wanted to pitch.”