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NEW YORK -- The Mets placed Eric Young Jr. on the disabled list with a right hamstring injury before Monday's series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates and promoted fellow outfielder Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill the roster spot.
Young had been dealing with a lingering hamstring issue and felt it grab while stealing a base on Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
He remembered third baseman David Wright trying to play through a hamstring injury last season and blowing out the muscle. So Young agreed that the DL was the right decision now to ensure he does not have a prolonged absence. Young plans to have an MRI on Tuesday, after the Memorial Day weekend, to determine the severity of the injury.
"On the steal, I felt it enough. It wasn't a pull or anything like that, but I just felt it enough to where I couldn't run or explode like I need to," he said. "From the hindsight of watching what David Wright went through last year -- he felt a tweak and still played through it and ended up popping it good and missed about a month and a half, almost two months there -- my legs are a big part of my game, so I'd rather take the two weeks instead of risking it and potentially being out longer than that."
With Juan Lagares' rising prominence in the outfield, Young had receded to a backup role. Although he still ranks third in the National League with 17 steals, Young had been out the starting lineup for the past five games. He is hitting .220 with one home run and 17 RBIs in 141 at-bats this season.
Den Dekker, 26, was hitting .269 with four homers and 26 RBIs with Las Vegas. He was selected for the promotion over fellow lefty-hitting outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who is hitting only .203 with 21 strikeouts in 59 at-bats since returning to Triple-A on May 1 after a productive stint with the Mets.
"I feel like I've been swinging the bat pretty well the last couple of weeks," den Dekker said. "I actually made a couple of adjustments to my swing. I'm a little more spread out now from where I was in spring training. I feel like it's helped me see the ball a little better and swing the bat well."
Den Dekker played in 27 late-season games for the Mets in 2013. He missed the first two months of that season after fracturing his right wrist late in spring training while attempting a catch in center field. While his range of motion in the wrist on his non-throwing hand has not fully recovered, den Dekker indicated the discomfort is behind him.
Den Dekker had appeared buried in the Triple-A outfield once the Mets added Young last season, Curtis Granderson and Chris Young during the offseason and Bobby Abreu in April. Still, he indicated he was glad to be around the veterans.
"I was actually excited -- especially with a guy like Grandy, a left-handed hitter, an outfielder, that's been around for a while and knows a lot of stuff," den Dekker said. "He's a veteran guy that's been around for a while, so it's good to learn from him."