"We asked this guy to come in and face the best left-handed hitters in our division," Collins said of Blevins, who is out indefinitely after fracturing his left forearm in Sunday's 7-6 Mets win.
"This was probably the first time he's been put in that big a role and he's done a tremendous job. This is a big blow."
Reliever Hansel Robles will be called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Blevins, who who head to the disabled list along with catcher Travis d'Arnaud to conclude what was a bittersweet Sunday at Citi Field. The Mets hung on for their eighth win in a row -- the longest win streak in the Majors and New York's longest in five years -- but in the process lost an entire battery worth of key parts.
"It's a bad combo in the same day," said Mets GM Sandy Alderson. "That's why we have the depth that we have. That's why we have other players for those who have already gone down, and why we have others who will step in and continue to contribute."
Blevins was examined on Monday and will wear a splint for six weeks, after which he will be re-examined. Giants right fielder Hunter Pence recently suffered a forearm fracture and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
Blevins is just the latest subtraction from a bullpen that has already lost Jenrry Mejia to an 80-game drug suspension and could be without Vic Black for longer than expected. Alderson revealed Sunday that Black experienced a setback while on a rehab assignment at Double-A Binghamton. Bobby Parnell is also not recovering from Tommy John surgery as quickly as anticipated.
Blevins was flawless in his first seven appearances since being acquired from Washington in late March. Often utilized in short spurts, Blevins retired all 15 batters he faced this season -- including Marlins infielder Dee Gordon, whose liner rocketed off his arm in the seventh.
Blevins attempted to block the line drive with his glove, but couldn't react in time. He completed the play by tossing the ball to first with his glove.
Fourteen of the 15 batters Blevins retired this season were left-handed.
"I didn't think it got me that bad," Blevins said. "I asked [Collins] to give me a second. It might be OK. Maybe it was just the numbness."
"It's a pretty big letdown," he continued. "I'll do what I have to do, starting tomorrow."
The 24-year-old Robles didn't allow a run in five appearances this season for Las Vegas. He went 7-6 with a 4.31 ERA in 30 games (18 starts) last season for Double-A Binghamton. But Robles is a righty, and therefore won't fill the specialized void Blevins leaves. Alderson said Alex Torres will be asked to handle more high-leverage duty against left-handed hitters. Torres replaced Blevins on Sunday and threw a wild pitch before striking out lefty-swinging Christian Yelich to end the threat.
But Alderson hinted that Torres, who has struggled since being acquired from San Diego, may not represent a long-term solution.
"We have a couple of lefties still at Las Vegas that are potential replacements," Alderson said. "Although we lost Jerry, we still have far more depth than we had in, say, mid-Spring Training, because the development of a couple of guys and the fact that we still have Alex Torres."
Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.