Mike Pelfrey is headed to the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, joining injured Jason Bay.
Sandy Alderson said ligament damage has not been ruled out with Pelfrey, meaning Tommy John surgery could be forthcoming. A baseball industry source subsequently told ESPNNewYork.com that team officials believe Pelfrey has a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament and that they are now expecting to lose him to season-ending surgery.
New York Mets
Still, Pelfrey said he was not convinced ligament damage occurred, and speculated his absence may be short term to let the elbow calm.
Pelfrey said he felt "tightness" and "grabbing" in his right elbow during the first pitch of every inning Saturday against San Francisco, when he limited the Giants to one run in eight innings. The sensations would go away after the first pitch, but resurface every inning.
He went for a precautionary MRI on Tuesday morning at the Hospital for Special Surgery, which revealed a spot, Pelfrey said. Doctors had not made a final diagnosis yet, Pelfrey said.
"I felt good the other day," Pelfrey said. "I would throw one pitch and it would go away. The ball was coming out good. Everything felt good. There was just a little bit of tightness, which I thought was a little bit of tendinitis."
Alderson said Pelfrey will seek a second opinion, but Pelfrey said nothing had yet been firmly planned.
The loss of Pelfrey comes on the heels of Bay landing on the DL earlier in the day with a fractured rib.
"It's frustrating to lose a doubleheader one day and two players the next," Alderson said.
Bay hurt himself in Game 2 Monday, unsuccessfully attempting a lunging catch on Gregor Blanco's shot. Initial X-rays at the stadium were negative, the team aid, but Bay had a more comprehensive exam Tuesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery that revealed the cracked rib.
The team did not specify a timetable for Bay's return.
"I knew it hurt pretty well," Bay said. "I was hoping, best case, that it was a bruise. I got up this morning and the way it was feeling, if it was a bruise, it was a pretty good one."
Left-handed reliever Robert Carson has been promoted for the Marlins series. He's expected to be replaced by Chris Schwinden for Friday's start at Colorado. Corner infielder Zach Lutz was promoted for Bay.
Lutz primarily will be a righty bat for the bench, but Terry Collins suggested he likely would use him against left-hander Mark Buerhle on Wednesday at first base over slumping Ike Davis.
Carson had a 3.18 ERA in five relief appearances with Double-A Binghamton. Schwinden is 2-2 with a 2.05 ERA in four starts for Triple-A Buffalo.
Meanwhile, middle infielder Jordany Valdespin -- who first started learning center field during spring training -- now is getting a crash course in left field. Mike Baxter is starting in Bay's position on Tuesday night, but Collins suggested he may liberally use the rookie Valdespin at the position against righty pitching, with Scott Hairston facing southpaws.
Outfielder Andres Torres, who landed on the DL after Opening Day with a strained left calf, is due to rejoin the Mets next Monday in Houston, Alderson said. He began a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie on Monday night. Alderson said Torres is due to play again tonight and tomorrow with St. Lucie, then play in a cold-weather climate -- either with Triple-A Buffalo or Double-A Binghamton -- on Friday and Saturday before being activated.
Schwinden would be on turn for Friday's start. Alderson ruled out using prospect Matt Harvey or Jeurys Familia.
Jeremy Hefner, who tossed three scoreless innings in Game 1 of Monday's doubleheader before being returned to Buffalo, would not be eligible to return because he must spend 10 days in the minors unless he directly is replacing the player who landed on the DL.
Chris Young, who underwent torn anterior capsule surgery in his right shoulder last May 16, has faced batters in Port St. Lucie. But pitching coach Dan Warthen recently said Young was being treated conservatively and was not due to pitch in his first minor league game for about another two weeks.
As for Collins' Tuesday lineup: Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada are batting 1-2, Daniel Murphy dropping to third, and Davis all the way down to No. 6. That lineup should be here for the time being, the manager said.