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Cespedes placed on DL with pulled hamstring

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- The enduring image of Thursday's 7-5 Mets loss to the Braves was that of Yoenis Cespedes, hands on his knees, grimacing in pain after straining his left hamstring. The injury sent Cespedes to the 10-day disabled list, the club announced Friday, and could keep him sidelined longer than that.

Earlier in the day, the Mets scratched pitcher Noah Syndergaard with what the club hopes is a mild case of biceps tendinitis. With Syndergaard sidelined, the Mets turned to Matt Harvey, who gave up six runs in the team's sixth straight loss -- all of which spurred manager Terry Collins into addressing his team after the game.

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NEW YORK -- The enduring image of Thursday's 7-5 Mets loss to the Braves was that of Yoenis Cespedes, hands on his knees, grimacing in pain after straining his left hamstring. The injury sent Cespedes to the 10-day disabled list, the club announced Friday, and could keep him sidelined longer than that.

Earlier in the day, the Mets scratched pitcher Noah Syndergaard with what the club hopes is a mild case of biceps tendinitis. With Syndergaard sidelined, the Mets turned to Matt Harvey, who gave up six runs in the team's sixth straight loss -- all of which spurred manager Terry Collins into addressing his team after the game.

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"It's now time to go out and grind it out as we did last year," Collins said, echoing what he told his clubhouse. "It's still April. I understand that. But we can no longer sit back and say, 'Hey look, it's ugly weather, we've got some guys hurt.' No one cares. They don't care. The Nationals won't care. [The media] doesn't care. The only thing that matters are the guys in that room. That's the product. They've got to care. They've got to come out, play with some energy and get this thing going, and I truly believe we can do it."

Video: ATL@NYM: Collins provides update on Cespedes' injury

The Mets recalled lefthanded pitcher Sean Gilmartin from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill Cespedes' roster spot. The move gives the Mets an extra pitcher and a four-man bench on their active roster.

Yet to rebound now, the last-place Mets will need to play better without their best hitter. Cespedes pulled up lame at second base after doubling to open the fourth inning, eventually limping off the field alongside trainer Ray Ramirez.

The injury came one week after Cespedes initially pulled his hamstring in a game against the Phillies. He sat out the ensuing three games, then received two additional days of rest thanks to a team off-day and a rainout. But Cespedes lasted just 13 innings against the Braves before aggravating his muscle.

Minutes after Thursday's game, Cespedes was already en route to the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City for testing on his hamstring, leaving Collins to speculate: "There's no indication of how long it will be."

Had the Mets placed Cespedes on the DL last week, he would have been eligible to return Monday in Atlanta.

"It's easy to sit back today because he pulled a muscle and say, 'Hey look, he wasn't ready to play,'" Collins said. "You can write all you want that we should have put him on the DL. Well we didn't because we didn't think it was necessary, because he said he was going to be ready to play. Now he's going to be out for a while."

In Cespedes' absence, Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson, Juan Lagares and Jay Bruce will man the Mets' outfield, though Bruce has mostly played first base of late. Utilitymen Matt Reynolds and T.J. Rivera are also capable of playing in the outfield, though no in-house candidate can replace the swagger of Cespedes, who was batting .270 with six homers and a .992 OPS in 18 games.

Gilmartin, who started one game for the Mets last season, would be a candidate to pitch Sunday if Noah Syndergaard cannot go. Syndergaard missed Thursday's scheduled start due to right biceps tendinitis, but hopes to return in time for Sunday.

"We're going to see what we're made of," third baseman Jose Reyes said. "We're not going to have him for a little while. Right now, we cannot worry about Yoenis Cespedes."

Added Bruce: "He's our best hitter. Anytime your best hitter's not in your lineup, it changes the dynamic of it. I think the most important thing is to have him healthy. We need him, and we don't need him before he's ready."

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
With Cespedes on the disabled list, Granderson struggling at the dish (one homer, .138 average) and Bruce able to play first base, Collins should be able to use Conforto (four homers, .298 average across 47 at-bats) on a regular basis in the coming weeks. The 24-year-old should be added by virtually all Cespedes owners, as well as any owner who could use a power boost. Cespedes owners in deeper formats who do not have access to Conforto can check waivers for an alternative such as Kevin Pillar, Aaron Altherr or Scott Schebler.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

New York Mets, Yoenis Cespedes