NEW YORK (AP) — Mets centerfielder Angel Pagan was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday because of a strained left oblique, and the team was not certain when he would return.

The Mets made the move a day after left fielder Jason Bay returned to the lineup. Bay missed the first 18 games with a strained ribcage.

“After they put the ice pack on your rib and after you wake up, I felt a little more sore than last night,” Pagan said. “That’s not a good sign so they decided to put me on the DL.”

Jason Pridie was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and was in the starting lineup Friday night against Arizona. Manager Terry Collins said Pridie was brought up because of his defense and was starting over Willie Harris with flyball pitcher Mike Pelfrey on the mound for New York.

Collins said he wouldn’t use Carlos Beltran in center after the All-Star made the switch to right field this spring to protect his knees.

“I told him the first day of spring training when the decision was going to be made, if he was going to be the right fielder that I would not put him back in center field,” Collins said. “The one thing I don’t want to do is take a guy of his caliber, his credentials and jack him around a little bit.”

Pagan was hurt swinging the bat Thursday in the fifth inning of the Mets game against Houston.

General manager Sandy Alderson was reluctant to give a timetable for Pagan’s return because of the nature of oblique injuries, which Bay called on Thursday “en vogue” this season.

“These injuries are very hard to predict,” Alderson said. “They generally take longer than anyone originally expects.”

Pagan will not participate in any baseball activities until the soreness goes away.

According to STATS LLC, there have been 18 players placed on the DL this season with oblique injuries or injuries in the same area: the side muscle extending from the ribs to abdomen. In the same period last year there were just 11 such injuries.

Collins thinks the increase in the number of these type of injuries the past few years has to do with the rigorous training athletes partake in.

“Ever since the emphasis on conditioning — a strong core — I’ll tell you what, they’re everywhere,” he said.

Alderson agrees: “I think when musculature is more highly developed, more frequently attuned, there’s probably a likelihood that these things can occur more frequently.”

Pagan was struggling at the plate this season, hitting .159 with one homer and six RBIs.

The Mets claimed Pridie off waivers last year from the Minnesota Twins but was limited to 40 games at Buffalo because of hamstring injuries. He was hitting .186 in 14 games for Buffalo this season.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

From the Mets:
FLUSHING, N.Y., April 22, 2011 – The New York Mets today announced that they have placed outfielder Angel Pagan on the 15-Day Disabled List with a strained left oblique and selected the contract of outfielder Jason Pridie from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League. Pridie will wear #20 and will be in tonight’s starting lineup vs. Arizona.

Pridie, 27, appeared in 14 games for Buffalo and was hitting .186 with one double, three home runs, six RBI and one stolen base. He hit .136 (3-22) with one double and two RBI for New York in 12 games this spring.

Pridie was claimed on waivers by New York from the Minnesota Twins on February 9, 2010. Right hamstring injuries limited him to 40 games with the Bisons last year. The 6-1, 203-pounder hit .280 (46-164) with three home runs, 19 RBI and nine stolen bases. Pridie appeared in 11 games for the Twins in 2008 and 2009, going hitless in four at-bats.

Pagan, who was hitting .159 (11-69) for the Mets in 19 games with one double, one triple, one home run, six RBI and four stolen bases, injured himself in last night’s 9-1 victory over the Houston Astros

pixy Mets Place Angel Pagan On DL

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