"He didn't have command of his pitches. That's all," manager Manny Acta said about Cabrera, who was making his first appearance since May 16, against the Phillies.
Last week it had been announced that Cabrera would be taken out of the rotation because of his lack of command on the mound.
Cabrera is 0-5 with a 5.85 ERA and leads the National League in walks (35) and wild pitches (nine).
Acta went so far as to say that Cabrera would not be called upon unless the team is in a blowout situation. That wasn't the case on Monday, as he entered the game with the Mets leading, 5-2.
"I'm concerned that he hasn't seen action, but we keep him at work in the bullpen whenever a day or two goes by," Acta said before Monday's game. "The fact is, we need to put him in a situation where he can have success. I'm not going to bring him out there with the game tied right off the bat.
"We are waiting for a situation where he can come out, have a fresh inning, and the game is not late and tied. That's all. We have to do what's best for the whole team, and we are not going to rearrange everything around one guy."
Cabrera is not frustrated, and he plans to be professional about his current situation.
"I just stay in the bullpen and watch the game," Cabrera said. "I've been throwing a couple of bullpen [sessions], and I will wait for my time. I want to be in there, but I can't control it. All I have to do is wait."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.