NEW YORK -- The Mets recalled infielder Justin Turner from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday in response to Jason Bay's move to the seven-day concussion list. Turner had missed 17 games due to an ankle injury he suffered during a rundown on May 27.
"This was the right move at the right time for us," manager Terry Collins said. "He's a good enough player. He really gives us a very good option off the bench of a guy who can handle the bat."
Turner feels pain in his ankle when he wakes up in the morning, but it eventually subsides after walking around on it for a few minutes. He has been wearing an ankle sleeve with light tape on top of it during games. He said his return to the team was a lot faster than he initially expected when he suffered the injury.
"When I first did it, I thought I broke it, so this is a lot quicker than that," Turner said. "I've [hurt] my ankle a couple times before and been back on it in less than a week. This was a situation where we wanted to be a little more careful with it, and be closer to 100 percent before I was back."
Turner is one of the five options Collins has been forced to use at shortstop as a result of injuries. With Ruben Tejada and Ronny Cedeno on the disabled list, Collins said he'd consider moving Turner back to the position. He wants to assure Turner's ankle is fine before making any decisions. Turner played second base in a rehab game on Friday and shortstop the night before.
Before Friday's game, Collins alluded to Bay's slump when he spoke about the mystery involved in guessing the number of at-bats an injured position player needs before feeling comfortable facing Major League pitching again. Turner's callup makes that conversation relevant. While he only received 20 total at-bats in rehab appearances -- 12 in Class A Port St. Lucie and eight in Triple-A Buffalo -- Collins said the 27-year-old utility man could handle the challenge of coming back quicker because he's used to coming off the bench.
"I feel real good at the plate," Turner said. "I feel real comfortable. I only missed 10 days of swinging the bat, so it wasn't a significant amount of time. The first time I picked up the bat, I felt like I wasn't too far off."
Triple-A Buffalo manager Wally Backman notified Turner of Bay's injury when he was on third base during Friday's game and said to be ready for a callup to New York on Saturday.
Collins said Turner's callup would not delay the return of Cedeno, who he expects to join the Major League club around the middle of next week.