Mets' Barajas could be headed to DL

Updated: July 24, 2010, 11:08 PM ET
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com

LOS ANGELES -- New York Mets catcher Rod Barajas may be headed to the disabled list after leaving Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning with a right oblique strain.

Barajas had just delivered an RBI single to pull the Mets within a run in what ultimately became a 3-2, 13-inning loss when he was forced to depart. He was lifted after advancing to second base on a play in which pinch hitter Jeff Francoeur hit a comebacker to Dodgers reliever Jack Taschner.

Henry Blanco ran for Barajas and replaced him behind the plate. The Mets also are carrying rookie catcher Josh Thole on the roster.

Barajas suggested the issue first arose during an at-bat two innings earlier.

"I took a swing and I fouled a ball off and I just felt a little discomfort in there," Barajas said. "I swung and missed at the next pitch and it was pretty much the same discomfort. I didn't think it would be an issue. I thought I would be able to finish out the game. I came up to my third at-bat, in the on-deck circle I had completely forgotten about it. It didn't affect me catching at all, throwing. So that third at-bat I went up to the on-deck circle and took a swing and I felt it a little bit more. I wanted to finish up that at-bat and try to finish the game. The discomfort got greater after that hit."

Because Thole customarily catches Sunday's scheduled starter, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, and with Monday a team off-day, Barajas thought a roster decision could wait until the Mets' homestand opens Tuesday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Regarding the disabled list, manager Jerry Manuel acknowledged: "There's a possibility that we might have to do something there."

The Mets have plenty of experience with right oblique issues in the past month. Outfielder Angel Pagan missed a week with a similar injury. Shortstop Jose Reyes injured his right oblique during batting practice on June 30, tried to play through discomfort and had repeated setbacks before ultimately reentering the lineup without interruption Monday in Arizona.

"This is the first time I've ever had an oblique injury," Barajas said. "I consider myself a pretty quick healer, so we'll see what happens. I'll do whatever I need to do to try to get this feeling better. ... It's sore, but standing here I'm not feeling a sharp pain or any kind of discomfort -- just turning side to side. If you ask me what I feel, I think it will probably be a few days. I can't go by past injuries because it's never happened before."

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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