Kodai Senga flashed his manager a smile after concluding a roughly 30-pitch bullpen session Wednesday, and Carlos Mendoza took that as “a good sign” for the Mets and their injured ace.

Senga, the 2023 runner-up for the Rookie of the Year award in the National League, hasn’t pitched this season due to a right shoulder capsule strain suffered early in spring training.

Asked before the Mets’ 10-4 win over the Marlins on Wednesday night at Citi Field if he’s confident he will pitch in the majors in 2024, the Japanese righty said through his translator, “Yes. … In my mind, that’s my plan.”

The 31-year-old had progressed to facing batters in live batting practice in late April before a setback cropped up last month — triceps tightness that required a cortisone shot.

Senga had expressed frustration publicly following that delay — and said he needed to concentrate on fine-tuning his mechanics — but he acknowledged he was more encouraged after Wednesday’s session, his second in recent days from the bullpen mound.

“Everything’s going well. It’s progressing well,” Senga said. “My understanding is we’ll go into live [batting practice] and then into [a rehab assignment] at some point.

“It’s hard to say [when], obviously I want to get out there as soon as possible, but there’s also protocol and the rehab progression. All I can focus on is getting better and getting out there as soon as possible, to throw as many innings as possible.”

Mendoza said he expects Senga to require “probably two more” bullpen sessions before he resumes facing hitters in a controlled setting.

“It’s been a lot of ups and downs, and it’s been a lot slower than we anticipated,” Mendoza said. “Now that he’s on the mound, hopefully we’ll continue to progress and get him in games pretty soon here.”


Jeff McNeil was back in the lineup as the No. 9 hitter after attending Team USA’s loss to India at the T20 Cricket World Cup at Eisenhower Park on Long Island earlier Wednesday.

The two-time All-Star and 2022 NL batting champion went 0-for-4 with a run scored and is batting .226 with a .609 OPS in 60 games this season.

He had started only one of the previous six games.


Tyrone Taylor went 4-for-5, matching his career-high for hits set in September 2020 for the Brewers against the Tigers.


Pete Alonso was moved into the cleanup spot and went 1-for-5 with a run scored.

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