MILWAUKEE - Daisuke Matsuzaka's versatility has proved to be valuable for the Mets, who have leaned on the veteran righthander as both a spot starter and reliever.

But the Mets may be without Matsuzaka for awhile after he was sent to New York for an MRI exam Friday, one day after complaining of discomfort in his right elbow.

Matsuzaka, 33, mentioned his elbow issue after he was roughed up in Thursday night's 9-1 loss to the Brewers. Later, he admitted feeling some discomfort as he warmed up for his relief appearance.

"He thought it was nothing he couldn't pitch through," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Then when the game was over, it bothered him pretty good. We had him looked at here, then they decided to send him to New York."

Pitching in mop-up duty, Matsuzaka allowed three runs in two innings, including a pair of homers. He appeared to be in pain coming off the mound.

For now, the Mets do not plan on adding another arm to replace Matsuzaka, choosing instead to play one man down in the bullpen.

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Matsuzaka is 3-3 with a 3.87 ERA in 28 appearances, nine of them starts. He has also recorded a save.

An extended absence could hurt the Mets, who hoped to use Matsuzaka's spot starting ability to help limit innings for some of their younger arms.

 

Left turn for Duda

Collins may have first baseman Lucas Duda face more lefthanders as the season progresses. Lefties have held him to a .161 average this season with just one homer. Said Collins: "If he's going to be a big run producer, the kind of player you want, he's got to start playing against some of these guys."