Mets place Church (concussion) on DL

Updated: July 8, 2008, 8:52 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Unable to fully recover from his second concussion this year, Mets right fielder Ryan Church was placed on the 15-day disabled list again Tuesday before New York's game against the San Francisco Giants.

Ryan Church

Church

The move puts Church's season in question and reopens a big hole in the Mets' depleted outfield. Oft-injured left fielder Moises Alou has been sidelined most of the year and is still trying to work his way back from a strained left calf.

Church is out with post-concussion syndrome, the Mets said. He hasn't played since leaving Saturday's game in Philadelphia with dizziness -- six days after he came off the DL. He missed most of June following a May 20 concussion, his second in less than three months.

Doctors told Church his latest symptoms could be related to the migraine headaches he has had since he was a teen. Tests on his brain came back negative, but Church acknowledged he still doesn't feel 100 percent.

"Exhausted," he said. "I just can't keep on going out there and basically just making it worse."

The move was made retroactive to Sunday. To fill Church's roster spot, the Mets recalled outfielder-first baseman Nick Evans from Double-A Binghamton.

Church was initially hurt March 1 in a spring training collision with teammate Marlon Anderson. Then on May 20 at Atlanta, he was accidentally kneed in the head by Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar while trying to break up a game-ending double play.

Church pinch-hit on May 22 but did not start again until June 1. Still not feeling 100 percent, he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts on June 6 at San Diego. After that game, New York put him on the DL with post-concussion syndrome.

The Mets have been questioned for waiting to put Church on the disabled list the first time. He said he felt particularly uncomfortable on a couple team flights.

"I can't keep going out there and running myself down. I feel like I'm hurting the team," Church said Tuesday. "I still have the aches, pains. When I move my head around, I can feel my brain swishing around in my head."

Asked if he was concerned he could miss the rest of the season, Church said: "That's probably the last route we could take."

General manager Omar Minaya said there is no timetable for when Church might return.

"That will be decided by the doctors," Minaya said. "When he gets clearance, he's going to play. ... All we can really do is, like any other injury, depend on our medical experts."

A couple prominent major-leaguers have been forced to retire in recent years because of concussions, including catcher Mike Matheny and third baseman Corey Koskie.

Church is batting .307 with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs. He was acquired by the Mets last offseason in a trade with Washington.

With his team missing both corner outfielders, Minaya is likely to at least explore the trade market for potential replacements. The non-waiver trade deadline is July 31.

Alou went 1-for-3 in a rehab game Tuesday for Binghamton. He played five innings in left field during the opener of a doubleheader.

The 42-year-old Alou missed the season's first month following hernia surgery and has played only one big-league game since May 22 because of a strained left calf. He is batting .347 with nine RBIs in only 49 at-bats.

Evans went 4-for-23 (.174) with two RBIs in a previous stint with New York this year. He hit three doubles in his major-league debut at Colorado but then struggled at the plate before being sent back down to the minors.

The 22-year-old Evans was recently selected to the Eastern League All-Star team. He was batting .311 with 14 homers and 53 RBIs in 75 games at Binghamton.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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