Francisco goes on DL; Ramirez, Tejada activated

Frank Francisco closes out the game against the Frank Francisco closes out the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. (May 22, 2012) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Frank Francisco's wild weekend ended badly, with the Mets placing their chatty closer on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle before Sunday night's Subway Series finale.

Francisco's misadventures began when he made blaring headlines by referring to the Yankees as "chickens." He pitched into and then out of trouble in preserving a 6-4 victory Friday night in the opener.

And now he will be cooped up for at least 15 days.

Righthander Ramon Ramirez was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo despite allowing six runs in 22/3 innings during three rehabilitation appearances. He went on the 15-day disabled list June 5, retroactive to May 31, after suffering a strained right hamstring while running in from the bullpen to celebrate Johan Santana's June 1 no-hitter.

In another transaction, shortstop Ruben Tejada was recalled from Buffalo. The team created a roster spot for him by optioning utilityman Jordany Valdespin to the Bisons.

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Media stumbles aside, the Mets will miss Francisco for however long they must fly without him. He converted 18 of 21 save opportunities and produced 31 strikeouts in 29 innings.

Manager Terry Collins acknowledged that late-inning calls to the bullpen just got more problematic. "You kind of like to know your bridges to get to [Francisco]," he said. "When you lose that, now it disrupts all the little pieces you had to get there. It puts guys in different roles and different situations. It can really affect you, but we're going to have to deal with it."

Tejada was placed on the 15-day disabled list May 7 with a strained right quadriceps. He went 4-for-16 with three runs scored, one double and two RBIs in his last four games at Buffalo.

"We just know he's a big part of our lineup and we thought it was time for him to come up here and start getting some at-bats," Collins said. Tejada, batting second, had two hits in his first four times at bat Sunday night, including a game-tying RBI single in the sixth.

Valdespin, 24, had increasingly shown he can provide the kind of spark the Mets often lack. He may not be gone for long.

"Jordany has got to go play," Collins said. "I told him when I sent him out he was very impressive here in the last 10 days and now to continue it. Go down there and build on it.

"His days in the minor leagues, in my opinion, are growing shorter and shorter. When he comes back, we want to make sure he's ready to be an everyday player."

Valdespin was undeterred after packing his bags at the end of his third stint with the Mets this season. "My plan is to go there, play hard and come back soon," he said.

Although Valdespin leaves with a .222 batting average, he banged out 10 hits in his last 34 at-bats with eight runs scored and eight RBIs.

"I showed everybody I can play here," he said. "I showed the manager."

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