Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor was placed on the 10-day injured list Saturday with a Grade 2 right oblique strain, and there is no timetable for his return this season.
Lindor exited New York's loss to the Pirates on Friday night with what the Mets initially called right side soreness. The oblique strain is Lindor's first significant injury since he was traded to the Mets and signed a $341 million, 10-year contract extension over the offseason.
“The first time that something like this happened in my career,” Lindor said. “I don't have any timetable out to give you guys. I would love to say that I’m day to day, but I'm not. This is more like maybe week to week at the beginning and then [we'll] see how I bounce back.”
Lindor's injury comes as the Mets finally got all of their starting position players healthy Friday with J.D. Davis' activation off the injured list.
Mets manager Luis Rojas said it will be a challenge to replace Lindor, who has played in 87 of the New York’s 88 games this season.
“These are things that happen in the baseball season, so what we can do best is -- talking about Francisco specifically -- he's a guy that is in really good shape.” Rojas said. “We think that he's going to approach this injury, the treatment and the rehab that he needs in the best way, and then we should have him soon, so that should be the focus with him.”
The 2021 season has been a down season by the standards of the four-time All-Star shortstop. Lindor has slashed .228/.326/.376 with 11 homers and 36 RBIs and posted a 96 OPS+.
Prior to Friday’s early exit against the Pirates, Lindor had begun to turn things around. In his last 10 games before the All-Star break, he batted .355 in 31 at-bats with two homers and 10 RBIs.
“We have gone through a lot of things and I have gone through a lot of things,” Lindor said. “This is just another step in the journey that we are in. I'll do whatever it takes to come back and help the team. If I go about it in the right way, I do everything the right way -- which I know I will -- I should be back."
After his exit Friday, Lindor was replaced by Luis Guillorme at shortstop. Guillorme again took Lindor's place in Saturday's starting lineup.
With Lindor heading to the IL, infielder Travis Blakenhorn was called up in a corresponding move. The Mets could utilize both Guillorme and Jonathan Villar at shortstop in the meantime, along with José Peraza.
Rojas said the Mets’ depth will be important in Lindor’s absence.
“But for us as a team, this is a keep going mentality, right?” Rojas said. “The next man up. We've had that throughout the season and it's worked, really. Everyone in the room, and everyone that's come into the room, has been good with that. So that's what we're going to keep on doing.”