Hamstring injury lands Chavez on DL; Valentin activated

Updated: June 7, 2007, 8:19 PM ET
Associated Press

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 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.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press