It is possible, then, that once Maine returns -- after a batting practice session on Tuesday and a full slate of Minor League rehab outings -- he could slot into the bullpen.
"That's not too radical," manager Jerry Manuel said. "I think we will have to look at all options and see where we are as a team, see where he fits."
The possibility may not amount to much to the Mets if a rotation member suffers due to injury or poor performance between now and the time Maine is ready to return from the DL -- still weeks away.
But it is a possibility, and the Mets could use the bullpen help.
Entering Sunday's play, Mets relievers had posted a 9.55 ERA over their previous eight games, including a 19.44 mark over three games in San Diego. They ranked last in the Majors with 103 walks.
Maine has not pitched in relief since 2006.