Broken foot lands Mets' Green on DL
Move is retroactive to Saturday; outfielder can return June 10
NEW YORK -- There's a first time for everything -- good and bad.
The bad reared its ugly head on Tuesday, when the Mets placed outfielder Shawn Green on the disabled list for the first time in his 15-year career. The team recalled outfielder Ben Johnson from Triple-A New Orleans to take Green's spot on the roster.
"I was proud of that," Green said of the streak that saw him average 157 games per year over the past nine seasons. "I told guys every year that I was indestructible."
Not anymore. Tests showed that Green has a chip fracture on the base of the first metatarsal of his right foot, after fouling a ball off the bone last Friday at Florida. Though he said he felt significantly better as the long weekend progressed, doctors advised him not to run on the foot for fear of complicating what right now is a clean break.
"I was pretty fired up last night," Green said. "In my house I was walking around without the boot and, all of the sudden, I felt pretty good. I was kind of hoping to play tonight or tomorrow.
"I walked to the doctor's office with no boot or anything. I was thinking I was going to impress him -- but apparently not."
Instead, doctors forbade Green to run for approximately 10 days. The DL move comes retroactive to Saturday, meaning he'll be eligible to return June 10 in Detroit if he's ready. Doctors told the right fielder that it would take about six weeks for the bone to fully heal, though they'll likely clear him to play well before that.
Green had been hitting .314 with five home runs before the injury, his early successes recently earning him increased at-bats in the middle of the lineup. But with the injury -- coming on the heels of a DL sentence for starting left fielder Moises Alou -- the Mets are left with Carlos Beltran as the only regular remaining in the outfield.
"I've just got to suck it up for a couple of weeks," Green said.
In the interim, the 25-year-old Johnson will tackle his third stint in the Majors after limited duty the past two seasons with San Diego. Acquired for relievers Heath Bell and Royce Ring last winter, Johnson had been batting .282 with two home runs in 78 at-bats with New Orleans.
The outfielder joined the Mets in Miami just after the start of the game on Sunday, and remained with the club as an insurance policy of sorts on the trip back to New York. Still, he remained unsure of his immediate future until about five hours before game time on Tuesday.
"I guess I was more anxious just to hear something," Johnson said, "than just to sit there and not know."
The news became a best-case scenario for Johnson, who should serve primarily as a pinch-hitter with both Endy Chavez and Carlos Gomez making waves in their roles as outfield backups. But after his .241 Spring Training average dashed any hopes of making the club out of camp, Johnson said he's thrilled for the second chance.
"I was hoping for it," Johnson said. "I wasn't sure which way I was going to go, but I was definitely happy to hear the news. I'm just going to do what they tell me to do, come off the bench if they need me and hopefully get a start here and there."
Anthony DiComo is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.