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PHOENIX -- The New York Mets went from an impending outfield surplus to an outfield shortage in the span of a few innings.
Curtis Granderson and Juan Lagares departed Monday's 7-3 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks in consecutive innings with injuries.
Lagares suffered a pulled right hamstring running to first base on a fielder's choice grounder in the seventh inning. He will be placed on the disabled list prior to Tuesday's game.
|Curtis Granderson played in only 61 games last season for the Yankees because of a broken right wrist and broken left finger.|
Granderson departed an inning earlier with bruises to his left forearm, rib cage and knee. X-rays were negative, although Granderson struggled to put on his shoes after the game.
The Mets are expected to promote outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who is hitting .310 with two homers and eight RBIs in 42 at-bats in the Pacific Coast League, to replace Lagares on the roster.
Mets manager Terry Collins had been discussing pregame how to distribute playing time among his surplus outfielders once Chris Young (quadriceps) returns from the DL when he is eligible on Friday. Young has reached base in nine of 10 plate appearances in his first two games of a rehab assignment with Triple-A Las Vegas.
Granderson crashed into the outfield wall attempting to catch an RBI double off the bat of Miguel Montero in the first inning Monday. He remained in the game at that point after a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez but departed later with the encouragement of the training staff, which was concerned about worsening his rib cage injury by continuing to swing.
"I hit the wall with my forearm, which then lodged my elbow into my chest area. And then running full stride my left knee also hit," Granderson said. "As the game just kept going on, things just started to tighten up a little bit. The great thing is all the X-rays are negative. We just wanted to be on the safe side and check everything, which we were able to do at the ballpark."
Granderson had been limited to 61 games with the New York Yankees last season because of a broken right wrist and broken left finger. He apparently avoided a fracture this time, but still had a painful encounter because he hit one of the poles supporting the right-field wall.
"If I could have hit the fence I would have been all right -- maybe a little scrape, but I would have been good to go," Granderson said. "I hit the pole that had a little bit of padding on it. Luckily, there was a little bit or else it could have been worse. But the worst part I could have hit, I ended up hitting."
Lagares had never suffered a hamstring injury before, so he was unsure how to gauge it. Still, Collins was bracing for losing the slick-fielding outfielder, who had extended his hitting streak to nine games with a second-inning double. Lagares is hitting .314 this season.
"I never felt that before. I just felt it pull a little," Lagares said. "Let's see how it feels tomorrow. That's the first time I felt it."
The loss of two outfielders prompted first baseman Lucas Duda to be placed in the outfield for the first time since last June 16, when the Mets abandoned that usage because of less-than-optimal fielding skill.
The Mets had planned to get Duda outfield work during spring training, but a hamstring strain during camp prevented that exposure.
Andrew Brown took over in right field Monday.
Assuming Lagares lands on the DL and Granderson remains active but needs a few days to recover, the Mets would have Eric Young Jr., Brown and Nieuwenhuis as bona fide outfielders with Duda also capable of playing there.
"I felt pretty good, actually pretty comfortable," Duda said about the outfield return. "... Anywhere they need me to play, I'll play. Obviously, you want to see Curtis out there and you want to see Juan out there. I'm actually looking forward to playing outfield. I'll play anywhere they want me to play."