According to our friend Adam Rubin in his Daily News blog, Gary Sheffield has become the latest Mets player to be placed on the disabled list. He will be replaced on the Mets roster by tonight’s starting pitcher, Jonathon Niese.
Sheffield hadn’t played since the July 18 game against the Braves, when he was taken out of the game with a leg cramp after chasing a base hit in left field. At the time, Sheffield thought the injury wasn’t severe. He had this to say when it happened:
“It’s pretty much a cramp. If I thought I pulled it, I probably would have been on the DL.”
Jerry Manuel kept insisting that Sheffield was available for pinch-hitting duties but never used him. As the days progressed without Sheffield in the starting lineup or being used as a pinch hitter, the decision had to be made, especially knowing that Jonathon Niese was being called up to replace Fernando Nieve in the rotation.
Fortunately, the Mets did not bungle this one by using Sheffield for an at-bat here and there. Because he hasn’t made an appearance since the injury last Saturday, the move can be made retroactive to July 18, meaning he can be activated next weekend when the Mets are playing the Diamondbacks at Citi Field.
The question is, will he be ready to be activated next weekend? Most of the Mets injuries this season have kept players on the disabled list far longer than originally expected. I can’t recall if any player has come off the disabled list after the minimum 15 days had expired.
According to Rubin, Sheffield still believed he could avoid a trip to the disabled list as late as this afternoon, but when informed of the team’s decision, he didn’t seem to be happy with the decision. In fact, he was quite blunt about his thoughts.
“Y’all talk to them about that.”
Sheffield now takes his team-leading 10 HR to the DL Hotel, where he’ll be sharing a floor with the likes of Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Jose Reyes, John Maine, J.J. Putz and others. At the rate things are going, Albert Pujols will have more home runs this season than whatever lineup Jerry finds healthy enough to put together. Manuel should be a crochet expert by now with all the patchwork he’s had to do with the lineup cards.
Hopefully, this will only be a one-week stay for Sheffield on the disabled list and that once he checks out of the hotel, the rest of the team will follow.