Alvarez's playoff availability in doubt

Lefty reliever will miss at least two weeks with strained left groin

Alvarez's playoff availability in doubt

NEW YORK -- Mets reliever Dario Alvarez will miss at least two weeks with the strained left groin that he suffered earlier this week, manager Terry Collins said, putting his playoff availability very much in doubt.

Alvarez, a September callup, was a dark-horse candidate to make the Mets' playoff roster due to the club's inability to find a healthy, effective lefty specialist. But he left Tuesday's game against the Marlins with a strained groin, and subsequently traveled to Port St. Lucie, Fla., for rehab.

Three days later, Collins discussed the increasingly real possibility that his team wades through October without a lefty specialist. The only left-hander currently slated for the bullpen is Sean Gilmartin, who fares better against right-handed hitters than lefties. Rookie Steven Matz could also end up in the bullpen, though he is a prime candidate for the starting rotation.

"It's always nice to have one, but I don't think it's going to kill us if we don't have that one certain guy," Collins said.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.