NEW YORK -- For the Mets, three days of playing shorthanded was enough. Rather than allow Jose Reyes to remain in a state of day-to-day limbo, he was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday retroactive to Tuesday. The Mets hope Reyes can return as soon as he is eligible on Aug. 11.
"It is disappointing because I want to be on the field, I want to be playing," Reyes said. "I kind of feel like I've lost a lot this year. I've only played what, 14, 15 games? Now to go to the DL, I'm really disappointed about it."
Reyes was playing in his 16th game when he strained a muscle in his left side during Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader. Even though Yoenis Cespedes was also nursing a leg injury at the time, giving the Mets only 23 healthy bodies on their roster, they gave Reyes leeway to attempt to rehab his injury quickly.
It did not work. While swinging right-handed, the switch-hitting Reyes continued to feel pain, so the Mets placed him on the DL to make room for outfielder Justin Ruggiano. Though Reyes suggested batting left-handed on a full-time basis until his injury heals, the Mets rejected that idea out of fear that he would injure a different body part in the process.
"The only test we needed to do was to find out if he could swing, and he is unable to swing right-handed, which is part of his game," manager Terry Collins said. "We hope we caught it early enough so that he didn't overdo it. From the one side, he looks great. Everything's fine. The other side, he's really, really hesitant to swing. So we'll just keep an eye on him, let him rest that side. Hopefully, in 10 or 11 days, he'll be ready to join us again."
In 16 games since completing his domestic violence suspension with the Rockies and subsequently joining the Mets, Reyes was batting .239 with three home runs and three stolen bases. But he had begun to swing better in the games leading up to his injury, going 6-for-20 with a double and a triple.
In Reyes' absence, Wilmer Flores will serve as the starting third baseman.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. 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.