From the Bergen Record’s Bridget Wentworth :

The Mets called up John Maine from Triple-A Norfolk to start tonight against Washington with Brian Bannister on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.

The team optioned Victor Diaz to Norfolk to make room on the roster for Maine, a right-hander acquired from Baltimore in the Kris Benson deal. Maine was 1-3 with a 2.63 ERA at Norfolk and struck out nine in his last outing.

“He’s a young guy, and you like his size (6-4), you like that he struck out nine guys, and he’s 24 years old,” general manager Omar Minaya said. “We feel like he’s a kid that’s still developing, but has a chance to be a decent pitcher. We have an opportunity here with Bannister down to see how he does. We’ll give him a chance.”

Manager Willie Randolph said there are other options beyond Maine and there is no guarantee he’ll get more than one start. Maine saw limited action with the Orioles the past two seasons and was 2-4 with a 6.60 ERA in 11 games.

“He throws between 90 and 93 (mph), and he can locate his fastball like most pitchers, and he’s got a pretty good curveball,” Randolph said. “He’s got all four pitches, but nothing above average, and he needs to locate. He’s not going to overpower you. He needs to hit his spots. Just control the game.

Miguel Perez, called up from Binghamton on Monday, allowed 5 earned runs on 6 hits over 2.2 innings in Norfolk’s 8-1 loss to Rochester last night.

The New York Daily News’ Filip Bondy chatted with Mets’ GM Omar Minaya about yesterday’s protests over U.S. immigration policies. There is no truth to the rumor that petitions for “A Day Without Jorge Julio” are already in circulation.

Omar Minaya said he would have given any Met the day off, if someone had stepped forward and asked. But nobody asked. On this Day Without Immigrants (Un Dia Sin Inmigrantes), when Hispanic farm workers and landscapers, among other professions, across the nation skipped work, all 14 foreign-born Mets on a 25-man roster showed up last night at Shea to beat the Washington Nationals.

“I try to accommodate my players,” Minaya said before the Mets won, 2-1, on a throwing error by reliever Gary Majewski in the ninth. “This is part of everybody’s life, and it’s developing more all the time. Did you see the crowds, the demonstrators? I have never seen anything like it. But I don’t think anybody asked the players not to work, and I think there was more pressure on the Cubans.”

Minaya was talking about April 2000, when Rey Ordoñez of the Mets and Orlando Hernandez of the Yankees were among the players who boycotted games to protest Elian Gonzalez’s return to Cuba. That issue hit the anti-Castro Cubans square in the gut. “It was more concentrated,” Minaya said.