Mets put Jose Reyes on DL, sign free agent Justin Ruggiano
NEW YORK (AP) The Mets put infielder Jose Reyes on the 15-day disabled list Saturday because of a strain in his left ribcage and filled the roster spot by signing free agent outfielder Justin Ruggiano.
Ruggiano was in Triple-A when he was released by the Texas organization on Tuesday. Several hours after catching a flight to New York, he was in the starting lineup in center field Saturday night against Colorado.
''Here I am,'' the Mets newcomer said.
Reyes hurt himself taking a swing during the first game of a doubleheader Tuesday. The third baseman had missed four straight games since the injury.
''Disappointing,'' Reyes said. ''I want to be on the field, I want to play.''
The 33-year-old Reyes was hitting .239 with three home runs, eight RBIs and three stolen bases in 16 games for the Mets. He signed a minor league contract last month after being cut by Colorado.
''He was starting to show us what he brings to the table,'' Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Reyes went on the disabled list a day after outfielder Juan Lagares was put on the DL. The moves came with the defending NL champions trying to stay close to a wild-card spot.
The switch-hitting Reyes said he felt OK to swing from the left side, but couldn't hit righty. Trying to play through the injury, the team felt, would risk Reyes hurting himself more.
After 15 days to recover, ''I should be good,'' the four-time All-Star said.
The 34-year-old Ruggiano started the season with Texas and was sent to the minors after one game. He was at Triple-A Round Rock on Tuesday when he was told he'd been released.
Ruggiano said he had talked to a couple of teams about opportunities. The Mets' offer to play in the majors right away helped make his decision easy on Friday.
''I'm very excited to be here,'' he said.
He gets paid at the rate of the $507,500 minimum while in the major leagues and $82,700 while in the minors.
Ruggiano has hit .256 with 49 homers and 153 RBIs in parts of eight seasons with Texas, the Cubs, the Dodgers, Miami, Seattle and Tampa Bay. He was with Los Angeles last year and went 0 for 4 against the Mets in the NL Division Series.
Collins said Ruggiano had ''done damage'' against left-handed pitching and vs. the Mets in the past.
Ruggiano was drafted by the Dodgers and signed with them in 2004 when Collins was the minor league director for the team.
''I've been wanting to play with Terry for quite a while,'' Ruggiano said.
To make room on the roster, the Mets transferred pitcher Matt Harvey to the 60-day DL.