Mets send dizzy Church home, expect Pedro's return next week

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Mets right fielder Ryan Church was sent home Tuesday, still dizzy after sustaining a concussion last week -- his second in less than three months.

Church was examined by a neurologist and underwent an MRI exam that did not reveal any brain injuries, general manager Omar Minaya said. Rather than come to Shea Stadium for New York's game against the Florida Marlins, Church was sent home to rest and told to avoid bright lights.

In other injury news, reliever Matt Wise was placed on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his pitching shoulder, and the Mets recalled right-hander Carlos Muniz from Triple-A New Orleans.

Also, Pedro Martinez (hamstring) is slated to make a rehab start Wednesday night for Class-A St. Lucie. Then, he is likely to rejoin New York's rotation early next week in San Francisco.

Minaya said Church is day to day and could rejoin the team Wednesday. But the GM didn't rule out the possibility of putting Church on the disabled list.

"It's going to be how he feels," Minaya said. "We've done a CT scan and that came out normal. The MRI has come out normal. There's no brain injuries or (anything) like that, but the fact that there is some dizziness, we want to be cautious."

Perhaps the team's most productive and consistent player this year, Church was hurt last Tuesday night in Atlanta when he collided with Braves shortstop Yunel Escobar while trying to break up a game-ending double play.

Church had a CT scan afterward and has missed seven starts in a row since the injury. He is 1-for-4 as a pinch hitter during that stretch.

Church also sustained a concussion March 1 when he collided with teammate Marlon Anderson while chasing a popup during a spring training game.

Back then, the Mets vowed that Church would not resume playing until he was free of concussion symptoms. He returned to the field a week later.

But this time, the way they've handled the injury has been curious -- especially since it is Church's second concussion in a short period of time.

Church sat out one game, then pinch-hit last Thursday night in Atlanta and singled. Mets manager Willie Randolph said Church has told him he can track pitches and swing the bat, but felt a little "unstable" in the outfield. Thus, he hasn't started a game since the injury.

Church has also said the recent flights from Atlanta to Colorado and then Colorado to New York were particularly uncomfortable for him.

And if he's put on the disabled list, the struggling Mets can't backdate the move because of his pinch-hitting appearances, including one in Monday night's 7-3 loss to the Marlins.

Still, Minaya insisted the Mets have been careful with Church.

"A lot of it has to do with what the player says to you. We've asked him how he feels and tests have been done," the GM said. "We've refrained from using him. ... We're going to continue to be cautious in how we handle him."

Church is hitting .309 with nine homers and 32 RBIs in his first season with the Mets. He was acquired from Washington with catcher Brian Schneider for outfielder Lastings Milledge in a November trade.

Wise also went for an MRI that revealed tendinitis in his right rotator cuff. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 6.43 ERA in seven innings spanning eight appearances this year. He was sidelined from April 2 to May 13 with a bruised right forearm.

Wise worked one inning Monday night, allowing a run and two hits while walking two. The velocity on his fastball dropped into the low 80s (mph).

"It felt like going into a gunfight with a BB gun. Last night I felt like I was throwing under water," Wise said. "I want to help the team win, but if I'm dead weight, you have to fix it."

Anderson had an MRI that showed a torn left hamstring. He is on the 15-day DL after getting injured last Friday night in Colorado.

Martinez is scheduled to pitch Wednesday against Tampa Bay's Vero Beach affiliate and left-hander David Price, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft out of Vanderbilt. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has been out since straining his left hamstring in his only start this season, April 1 at Florida.