CHICAGO -- Parting ways after 2 1/2 unproductive months, the Mets on Tuesday traded Collin Cowgill to the Angels for Minor League outfielder Kyle Johnson. Johnson, who was batting .308 with 30 stolen bases in 68 games for Class A Burlington, will report to Class A Savannah.
Cowgill, 27, hit .180 with two home runs in 23 games for the Mets, spending significant time at Triple-A Buffalo. He was designated for assignment on June 18 to make room on the 40-man roster for outfield acquisition Eric Young Jr.
The Mets originally acquired Cowgill over the winter in exchange for infield prospect Jefry Marte, who has struggled in Oakland's Minor League system. Cowgill hit a grand slam for the Mets on Opening Day and received significant playing time in April, but he became a non-factor after slumping for most of the month.
Davis to stay in Minors until schedule makes right turn
CHICAGO -- At this point, Ike Davis has become more a victim of the schedule than anything.
Though Mets manager Terry Collins admitted Davis was a consideration to rejoin the team when Lucas Duda landed on the disabled list over the weekend, he and general manager Sandy Alderson decided against it because of the run of left-handed starters on their upcoming schedule. White Sox lefties Chris Sale and John Danks did not present strong matchups for the left-handed Davis.
"Obviously, he was talked about when Lucas went down," Collins said of Davis, the reigning Pacific Coast League Player of the Week. "The conversation was, 'Is it time?' And I said, 'From what I've heard, he's made huge progress'. They're very happy with what's going on. But to bring him in to have him face lefty, lefty, lefty, I didn't think it was a really fair time."
Unfortunately for Davis, the schedule does not grow any kinder for left-handed sluggers. The Mets are scheduled to face two more lefties this weekend against the Nationals in Ross Detwiler and Gio Gonzalez. And they are in line to extend that streak to four straight lefties when Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin and the D-backs come to town beginning Monday.
It is an unusual stretch for the Mets, who are scheduled to face six left-handers over their next eight games, prompting Collins to say he has "no idea" when Davis might return.
"When Sandy decides that from all the reports he's getting that he's ready, he'll be back," Collins said.
Even when he was thriving in 2011 and the second half of 2012, Davis struggled against lefties at the big league level. His career OPS is 197 points lower against left-handed pitching, and just 12 of his 63 homers have come against southpaws.
So Davis may have to remain in the Minors at least until July 3, when the Mets will begin facing right-handed pitchers with regularity once more. In the interim, he will need to continue posting the types of power numbers -- a .474 average, .630 on-base percentage and four home runs in six games -- that earned him PCL Player of the Week honors.
"I'm glad, very happy for him," Collins said of the honor. "I want him to be the National League Player of the Week."
Harvey not shy about posing for magazine
CHICAGO -- Matt Harvey has already appeared in Sports Illustrated this season, posing in uniform under the Queensboro Bridge. He is about to make his debut in another magazine, this time with no uniform -- and nothing else, either.
Harvey will appear in ESPN The Magazine's upcoming Body Issue, which features photos of athletes, the publication announced Tuesday. Former Mets shortstop Jose Reyes also appeared in the magazine two years ago.
"It was definitely kind of nerve-wracking at first," Harvey said of his photo shoot. "I've never been fully nude in front of random people like that before, especially with a camera around. But now it's all done with. It was a fun experience."
The impetus for posing, Harvey said, was his pride in eating healthy and staying in the best shape possible. Harvey joked that he hoped the magazine editors airbrushed "a couple more abs" into his photos.
"At the time, it seemed like a good opportunity, and something I was excited about doing," Harvey said. "I might as well get it out of the way when I'm young and have the opportunity to have a decent body, and hopefully we keep that going."
Harvey admitted he fully expects to receive grief from his teammates once the publication hits newsstands -- and he will certainly be standing on an island. Quipped 64-year-old manager Terry Collins: "You're not going to see me in that magazine."
• Second baseman Daniel Murphy was out of the lineup Tuesday for what Collins called a routine day off. Murphy had appeared in all of the Mets' first 72 games, and he extended that to 73 with a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning of Tuesday's loss. Third baseman David Wright, who has also appeared in every team game, is tentatively scheduled to receive an off-day Thursday in Denver.
• The Mets have shuffled their rotation in an effort to split up hard-throwing right-handers Harvey and Zack Wheeler and softer throwers Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner. Harvey will skip forward in the rotation, pitching Friday against the Nationals on regular rest. Gee will start Saturday, and Wheeler on Sunday.
• Former Mets left-hander Michael O'Connor, now a Minor League free agent, received a 50-game suspension Tuesday after testing positive for metabolites of Trenbolone, a performance-enhancing substance. O'Connor, 32, appeared in nine games for the Mets in 2011, posting a 2.70 ERA.
• To make room for Zack Wheeler on the active roster, the Mets on Tuesday optioned right-hander Greg Burke to Triple-A Las Vegas. Burke only appeared once in his latest stint with the Mets, allowing one unearned run.