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MIAMI — Since May 5, when a fastball struck Pete Alonso's right hand, the first baseman has played through the pain. He received treatment around the games, but never felt like himself on the field.
Finally, he had to listen to his body.
"If we want to win the war," Alonso said Friday, "I gotta get right."
The Mets on Friday placed Alonso on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to May 19, with a right hand sprain. They are now missing five of their eight starting position players.
They also placed right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter on the 10-day injured list, also retroactive to May 19, with lower back pain. They did so to be cautious because they know he's had some history with back pain during his career.
The club now has 16 players on the injured list.
The onslaught continued, with no end in sight.
"It's a little abnormal," Mets manager Luis Rojas said of being without five starting position players, also adding that he never expected to not have more than three at a time.
The right hand sprain could explain some of Alonso's recent struggles. He's batting only .236 this season, though he has six home runs.
Before missing Wednesday's game in Atlanta, Alonso had played in every game. Alonso said he talked to his teammates about hitting the injured list. Their message, more or less: Do what you have to do.
"Everyone has told me they respect the hell out of me for going out there and doing the best I can every single day up to this point," Alonso said. "Ever since I got hit by the pitch, I gave it my all every single day. Just going out there every single day not feeling right and trying to help this team win. I feel like I’ve been productive to a certain point.
"I feel that also, in order for me to help this team the way I know I can and in order for us to get where we need to go — toward the postseason — I think me being healthy, completely healthy, is going to help this team win a championship."
The Mets knew Alonso felt pain after being hit by a pitch in the second game of the doubleheader in St. Louis. He received treatment to stay on the field. But on Wednesday, he went into Rojas' office and discussed the injury with him.
The two felt that giving Alonso the day off Wednesday, before Thursday's scheduled off day, would give him an opportunity to be ready for Friday's game in Miami. Alonso received an MRI and it came back clean. The hand did not hurt defensively, but he felt pain when doing anything on offense.
Of course, Alonso hopes to only spend the required 10 days on the injured list. In the meantime, he's going to be doing everything he can — lifting, preparing for opposing pitchers, swinging with his left hand — to stay ready.
His body needed this rest and recovery period, though.
"I’ve been grinding, I’ve been doing the best I can out there," Alonso said. "And I’m at the point also where it’s like, if I keep continuously going out there with just a version of myself, not normal, then it doesn’t help the team. It’s not going to help the team in the long run and also it’s not going to help my body in the long run."
The ripple effect
Now that you know about Alonso and Hunter hitting the injured list, let's go through how the Mets shuffled the rest of the roster accordingly.
Infielder Brandon Drury was called up from Class AAA and is starting at first base for the team on Friday. Dominic Smith, who can play first, is starting in left field.
Of the eight position players in the Mets' Friday lineup, only two — Smith and Francisco Lindor — are regular starters.
In addition to Drury and Smith, superutility man Jake Hager can play first base. Catcher Patrick Mazeika played many games at first base in the minors, Rojas said. The Mets have options for emergency first basemen.
And another might be on the way: Rojas on Friday said third baseman J.D. Davis will be playing first base during the remainder of his rehab assignment with Clas Syracuse. Davis has played there before so it's not a new position for him. Rojas said Davis could join the team as soon as next week.
Right-hander Yennsy Diaz, acquired in the trade that sent Steven Matz to Toronto, is active for the team. He'll be in the bullpen.
Because Diaz was activated, right-hander Jordan Yamamoto is the lone player on the Mets' taxi squad.
The Mets designated lefty Daniel Zamora for assignment.
Will deGrom start for Mets on Tuesday?
Jacob deGrom's next start will be on Tuesday.
But for who?
Rojas said the Mets are still on a day-to-day approach with their ace. He struck out eight over three hitless innings for Low-A St. Lucie on Thursday and didn't feel any pain during the outing.
He'll throw a touch-and-feel session (a lighter bullpen) on Saturday and his full bullpen session on Sunday. The Mets will listen to his feedback, then decide where he will pitch.
DeGrom is currently on the injured list with right side tightness.
Justin Toscano is the Mets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. Email him at email@example.com and follow on Twitter @justinctoscano.
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Pete Alonso placed on injured list as NY Mets' injury woes worsen