"I was pretty bummed to get that news," Mathis said.
So were the D-backs, who have split time between Mathis and Chris Iannetta behind the plate. Manager Torey Lovullo said Iannetta will now share time with Chris Herrmann, who was already on the roster as the third catcher.
"We have two guys we feel really good about," Lovullo said. "There's going to be some adjustment, but they're going to be ready for the challenge."
The D-backs optioned reliever Jimmie Sherfy to Triple-A Reno on Tuesday. They activated outfielder Rey Fuentes from the 10-day disabled list and recalled reliever Jake Barrett from Reno before Tuesday's game against the Mets at Citi Field.
Mathis was hurt in the fourth inning of Monday night's 3-2, 10-inning win over the Mets when a foul tip off the bat of Dominic Smith hit him squarely on the right hand. He remained in the game until the sixth, when the hand became too sore for him to continue.
Doctors told Mathis on Tuesday that the ligament tore off the bone in his hand, and that small pieces of bone came with it. The initial diagnosis was that surgery won't be necessary, but Mathis will be examined by Dr. Don Sheridan back in Arizona.
"We have the best hand specialist in the world," Lovullo said. "Jeff's a tough man. If there's someone who can come back on the low side of a timetable, it's him."
Mathis is hitting just .213, but the D-backs value his defense. His catcher ERA of 3.55 is sixth best in the Majors for catchers with a minimum of 200 innings. Mathis has started 55 games, while Iannetta started his 49th game Tuesday and Herrmann has started 22 behind the plate.
Sherfy pitched Sunday and Monday, getting his first Major League win Monday night. But the D-backs sent him down so they could add a fresh arm. Barrett, who has a 4.02 ERA in 16 Major League appearances this season, pitched three innings in Reno since being sent down last week.
Fuentes missed a month with a left thumb contusion. He is batting .240 in 41 games for the D-backs this season.
• Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, who appeared in nine games for the D-backs this season, had his second Tommy John surgery Tuesday. The 28-year-old, who had his first Tommy John in 2011, will likely miss the entire 2018 season.
Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York and covered the D-backs on Tuesday.