Inside Pitch: Mets looking at market

The New York Mets would like to add pitching, but they are reluctant to part with outfielder Lastings Milledge and pitcher Mike Pelfrey, two of their top prospects, for what is considered a thin market.

"There's not much out there," manager Willie Randolph said. "There's some big names and there are guys who I think of as just OK pitchers that teams will be fighting for."

Although Pelfrey was beaten Sunday by the Cubs, he pitched well in his first two starts, and rookie John Maine threw a shutout last Friday. Each will get another start prior to the July 31 trade deadline, and Randolph is hopeful they'll continue to take positive steps that would lessen the need to trade.

"It takes a little pressure off making a move you might not want to make," Randolph said. "It helps you not have to make any kind of rash decision."

REPLAY: Steve Trachsel's streak of seven consecutive victories was snapped Monday night in an 8-7 loss to the Cubs.

Trachsel lasted 3 1/3 innings in his previous start last week at Cincinnati, and he didn't get out of the fifth Monday, giving up eight runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.

NOTES, QUOTES

  • RHP Pedro Martinez is expected to be activated from the disabled list this weekend to start in Atlanta. Even with Martinez coming back, manager Willie Randolph said rookie RHPs John Maine and Mike Pelfrey will each make at least one more start.

  • Bullpen coach Guy Conti returned to his duties Monday after undergoing an angioplasty on Saturday.

  • RHP Brian Bannister, on the disabled list since April 27 with a torn hamstring, is scheduled to make a rehab start on Wednesday for Class A Port St. Lucie. There is no timetable for his return.

  • 1B Carlos Delgado continued to show signs he's breaking out of his slump with two hits Monday. Delgado has 10 RBIs in his last five games.

  • LHP Tom Glavine (11-3) will start Tuesday against Chicago. Glavine has been stuck on 11 victories since June 23, a span of five starts.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 4 -- Mets grand slams in the second half of the season, through July 23.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "The hardest thing about this period is you want to make sure you're patient and not giving up prospects for a two-month window that results in something negative. But at the same time, our main goal is to get into the playoffs, and we're still looking to improve." -- Mets GM Omar Minaya, on the trade deadline.

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