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Hamstring injury lands Chavez on DL; Valentin activated

NEW YORK -- The banged-up Mets placed outfielder Endy Chavez
on the disabled list Thursday with a pulled left hamstring and
activated second baseman Jose Valentin, who had been out since
April with a knee injury.

Endy Chavez Chavez

Chavez had an MRI exam and said doctors told him he could miss
four to six weeks while resting and rehabilitating the injury.

"It hurts," said Chavez, after gingerly walking to his locker
before Thursday night's game against Philadelphia.

The 29-year-old had never been on the DL before.

"It's tough," he said. "I don't know how to react. It's not
fun."

Chavez was injured Wednesday night running to first trying to
beat out a double-play grounder in the seventh inning of New York's
4-2 loss to the Phillies.

The Mets now have three outfielders on the DL, with Chavez
joining regular starters Moises Alou (left quad) and Shawn Green
(right foot). Alou has been out since May 13 and Green's been down
since May 28.

"We're a good team because we have a lot of character on this
team," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "We've gone through ups
and down, the adversity of all kinds of injuries. We've grown and
it's made us stronger. It's an inevitable part of the season."

There was hope Alou would be back in the lineup this week, but
Randolph said the left fielder was still feeling the injury.

"I like to have the guy come to me and say, "I'm ready to
go,' " Randolph said.

Green hopes to play against the Detroit Tigers on Sunday, when
he's eligible to come off the DL.

Chavez, normally the Mets' fourth outfielder and late-inning
defensive replacement, has been playing regularly with Green and
Alou sidelined. Chavez is hitting .292 with a home run, 13 RBIs and
three stolen bases.

The Mets started rookie Carlos Gomez in right field and recent
Triple-A callup Ben Johnson in left Thursday night, with Carlos
Beltran in center.

Valentin (partially torn ligament in right knee) started at
second base against the Phillies and batted seventh. He will have
to wear a brace on his knee, which will need surgery after the
season. The operation likely will cause him to miss about a month
at the start of next season.

Valentin was hitting .279 with two homers and 13 RBIs when he
got hurt.