NEW YORK (AP) -As more of his players keep getting hurt, New York Mets manager Willie Randolph is getting frustrated.
All-Star catcher Paul Lo Duca, who left the Mets' 6-5 loss to the Washington Nationals on Saturday night because of an injured right hamstring, had an MRI exam on Sunday and wasn't in the clubhouse before the game. All-Star center fielder Carlos Beltran remained unavailable because of a stomach muscle strain.
Results of Lo Duca's scan were not released. Randolph said the best-case scenario was a slight strain that would keep his catcher out a couple of days. Randolph expected to talk to Lo Duca after the game.
The Mets have 12 players on the disabled list this season. Outfielder Endy Chavez (hamstring) and Carlos Gomez (broken hand), pitcher Pedro Martinez (rotator cuff surgery), Juan Padilla (elbow surgery), Duaner Sanchez (broken shoulder), and infielder Jose Valentin (fractured tibia) currently are out.
The team has also been without pitchers Orlando Hernandez, Oliver Perez, Jorge Sosa, and Dave Williams, and outfielders Moises Alou and Shawn Green at some point during the season.
A clearly unhappy Randolph said it was possible Beltran could become the 13th.
The team activated catcher Mike DiFelice in place of pitcher Mike Pelfrey, who was sent back to Triple-A New Orleans after the loss Saturday night. DiFelice will back up Ramon Castro. But even with DiFelice available, the team will play short for at least the next couple of games while they wait to see how Beltran is doing.
It's been like this most of the season for the Mets. When a reporter asked if it was aggravating to have to play short, Randolph frowned.
``No, it's very comfortable,'' he said.
``It's aggravating to not have a full squad. I mean, I had to use a pitcher to hit last night. It's aggravating to deal with what you have to deal with, but that's the way it goes.''
Not only is the team short an offensive player, but starting in left field is the 41-year-old Alou, just activated Thursday form the disabled list, where he'd been since May 17 because of a strained left quadriceps.
``You're always concerned when a guy's coming back from injury,'' Randolph said. ``But he said he felt good, I trust him, he knows how his body feels better than anyone.''
Lo Duca said Saturday night that he's pulled the same hamstring many times before and that he didn't expect to miss much time. He also insisted he would catch Tuesday night in Milwaukee when Tom Glavine goes for his 300th career win.
Randolph wasn't sure whether that would happen.
``I'm sure Pauly wants to play, he always wants to play, he's one of those kinds of guys who likes to be out there,'' Randolph said. ``We'll wait for the MRI to come in, see how he feels the next day or two and make an educated, smart decision on what's best for the ballclub.''
Lo Duca is hitting .270 with five homers and 31 RBIs in 4 games.
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