Alou to likely miss rest of season with torn hamstring; career could be over

NEW YORK -- Mets left fielder Moises Alou likely will miss the rest of the year because of a torn left hamstring, a setback that could mean the end of his 17-season career.

Trying to rehab a lingering strained left calf, the oft-injured Alou left Wednesday's game for Double-A Binghamton because of cramping in his hamstring. Doctors in New York discovered the tear Thursday.

"He's going to be out for a very long time," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said after a 7-3 win over San Francisco.

Minaya said surgery was the recommended remedy, but added the 42-year-old Alou would make the final decision.

Alou missed the first month of this season after hernia surgery. He has played just one game in the majors since May 22 because of the calf problem.

Always a solid hitter when healthy, Alou is batting .347 with nine RBIs in 49 at-bats this year. He has not played 100 games in the majors since 2005 with San Francisco.

Alou is a career .303 hitter with 332 home runs and 1,287 RBIs. He homered three times in the 1997 World Series in helping the Florida Marlins win the championship.

The Mets have started a whopping 11 different players in left field this season. Ryan Church, their regular right fielder, is currently on the disabled list with the effects of his second concussion this season -- Minaya said he expected Church would be OK to play when he's eligible to come off the DL later this month.

Fernando Tatis started in right field Thursday and homered, doubled twice and drove in four runs. He's also made 11 starts in left, and his production might have stemmed the Mets' rush to trade for an outfielder.

"It's a good day for Fernando Tatis to have a good day," Minaya said. "Right now, we're going to go with our guy."