Reyes, Putz setbacks leave Mets ailing

PITTSBURGH -- The depleted New York Mets got a double dose of bad news Thursday: injured shortstop Jose Reyes now has a tear in his right hamstring and reliever J.J. Putz is experiencing pain in his elbow.

Reyes, who has been on the disabled list since May 21 with right calf tendinits, felt the hamstring injury Wednesday during a rehabilitation game.

"[An] MRI revealed a small tear in his right hamstring tendon, a new injury. Reyes will rest for two days and then resume treatment," the Mets said in a statement.

Putz will leave the team and return to New York to be examined by team doctors Friday after experiencing "sharp pain" in his right elbow while pitching in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.

Putz, acquired in an offseason trade with Seattle to be a dominant eighth-inning presence, has given up eight runs and nine hits in a combined 1 1/3 innings during his past three outings, seeing his ERA climb to 5.22.

"It doesn't appear as though it's getting any better," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "He's getting ahead in the count but not being able to put people away. We're going to have to sit down and really evaluate his situation and see if physically there's something that's hindering him from doing what he needs to do."

Reyes left a rehab game at extended spring training in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Wednesday. He was examined by Dr. Struan Coleman and then underwent an MRI at New York's Hospital for Special Surgery that revealed the hamstring injury.

Reyes had severe hamstring problems early in his career.

Manuel demoted Putz to the seventh-inning role after Monday's game when he gave up four runs and didn't retire a batter. The reliever is 1-4 with two blown saves.

Thursday, Putz allowed two singles and a triple during the seventh inning of an 11-6 loss to the Pirates. Averaging more than a strikeout per inning over the course of his career, Putz has only two strikeouts in his past seven appearances.

"Any time I try to get out of my two-seamer or my split, it's a sharp pain," Putz said. "And you can't pitch like that."

Putz had a cortisone injection May 14 to calm inflammation in that troublesome elbow. He said it flared up during a bullpen session Wednesday, when the game against the Pirates was rained out.

Putz was given medication but felt worse on the mound Thursday, saying he stayed away from his splitter because when he did throw it, it was painful.

"[If] I try to aggressively throw that splitter, it hurts," Putz said. "I can't pitch without that pitch."

Putz was a closer for the Seattle Mariners the previous three seasons, including going 6-1 with 40 saves, a 1.38 ERA and an 82-to-13 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 71 2/3 innings in 2007.