Collins feeling better, back in uniform for banged-up Mets
NEW YORK (AP) Mets manager Terry Collins was back in uniform and feeling better. Not so for some of his top players, though.
Second baseman Neil Walker (lower back) and slumping left fielder Michael Conforto (left wrist) remained out of the starting lineup when New York opened an eight-game homestand Tuesday night against Pittsburgh. Center fielder Juan Lagares had a toothache - and general manager Sandy Alderson revealed that injured third baseman David Wright might need neck surgery.
Collins missed Sunday's loss in Milwaukee after feeling ''disoriented for a minute'' about 45 minutes before the game began. Bench coach Dick Scott managed in his place.
The 67-year-old Collins, the oldest manager in the majors, was taken to Froedtert Hospital in nearby Wauwatosa and kept overnight. The Mets said Monday that tests on Collins were negative and he was cleared to fly home on the team's off day.
''When the thing first occurred, I was pretty worried, yeah. But I got over it in a hurry,'' Collins said. ''The doctors were really impressive. They were on top of it right away and yesterday when they came back they said, `We can't find one thing.' So, freaky things happen, and so I'm just glad it's done and I'm glad I'm sitting here where I am right now.''
Collins was back at Citi Field on Tuesday and met with reporters at his regularly scheduled time about three hours before the first pitch. He brought the lineup card to home plate and shook hands with the umpires as well as Pirates third base coach Rick Sofield.
''I feel great. The doctors did a tremendous job. I'm really glad there's nothing serious, and I'm ready to go,'' Collins said.
''I don't know if it was due to dehydration, whatever it might have been. I mean, they don't have any explanations for it. So all I know is, all the other parts that you worry about when you get to be my age are fine.''
Collins said he appreciated all the support and well wishes he received. He said when he returned to his room after the first battery of tests at the hospital, he had 83 text messages and several emails waiting for him.
''It was very, very humbling, and who they were from was certainly pretty special,'' Collins said. ''I thank everybody for taking the time and thinking about me. I kind of thought I was going to be OK, but it's nice to know.''
As for his players, Collins said Conforto has a little strain in his wrist but could be available to pinch-hit, which he did Sunday. Conforto is likely to be rested again Wednesday night against left-hander Jeff Locke.
The second-year outfielder said his wrist was feeling better after he received a shot Monday. He was 5 for 52 (.096) in 15 games since May 24 but told Collins his sore wrist was not hampering his swing, the manager said.
Walker was set to receive more treatment and also might be available off the bench, Collins said.
Kelly Johnson started at second base, and Alejandro De Aza was in left field. Lagares pinch-hit in the sixth inning.
Wright is on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck. The 33-year-old Mets captain is consulting in California with Dr. Robert Watkins, the back specialist who treated Wright's spinal stenosis last season, and potential surgery is being discussed.
''It's only one option at this point. We'll know more in the next few days,'' Alderson said.
The defending NL champions also are missing catcher Travis d'Arnaud (strained rotator cuff) and first baseman Lucas Duda (lower back stress fracture).
Duda will still be sidelined for some time, but d'Arnaud is catching in minor league rehab games and it's possible he could rejoin the Mets in a week or so, Alderson said.
''Somebody's got to pick up the pieces. As I've said many times, any time we lose a piece, somebody else has got to step up and help out. I don't care who it is,'' Collins said. ''We've got to get some production out of some guys.''