PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- As the Mets approached their Spring Training opener, they were once again without a closer. Francisco Rodriguez was not cleared to participate in drills with teammates or in the game against the Braves on Tuesday afternoon. He was examined again, and his case of conjunctivitis was determined to be contagious, thus his relative isolation continued.
The club had thought Rodriguez would be involved with his teammates in routine workouts by now. He had come to camp with pink eye in his right eye, though the highly contagious infection wasn't immediately diagnosed or treated for several days. It spread to his left eye.
He has thrown off a practice mound three times since his isolated sessions began. Neither he nor the club has seemed too concerned by the time lost. Rodriguez said on his first day at camp that he needed no more than three weeks to prepare himself for the April 5 beginning of the season. And manager Jerry Manuel kidded that his closer probably could be game-ready for Opening Day if his training camp essentially began March 21, when the Mets play the University of Michigan.
Rodriguez was one of two Mets pitchers not in camp on Tuesday. Hisanori Takahashi left on Monday following an intrasquad game to travel to the Dominican Republic to obtain a visa.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.