Mets put Black on DL, activate Matsuzaka

NEW YORK -- For two days, the New York Mets were willing to play severely short-handed.

Thursday, they finally made a move to deal with it.

The Mets put Vic Black on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck, and activated Daisuke Matsuzaka from the DL to take Black's place in the bullpen. With David Wright back in the lineup and Josh Edgin apparently available in the bullpen, the Mets were closing in on having a full roster for Thursday night's game against the Atlanta Braves.

But not completely. Daniel Murphy remains unavailable, but for now Murphy also remains on the active roster. Murphy, who hasn't played since Sunday because of a sore calf, was sent Thursday to have an MRI exam on the calf.

Black had an MRI Wednesday, and while the test revealed the herniated disk, he also said it gave him a sense of relief that he didn't have anything more serious. Doctors gave Black an injection, which meant that he wouldn't be able to pitch for several days.

General manager Sandy Alderson said that, at this point, the Mets have not considered shutting Black down for the season.

Matsuzaka hasn't pitched for the Mets since July 24. He was on the DL with right elbow inflammation but could have returned earlier had the Mets been willing to open a roster spot for him.

Instead, they played effectively with a 21-man roster Tuesday and Wednesday against the Braves.

They still didn't have 25 healthy players on the roster Thursday. But at least they had 24.