When in doubt, sit him out.
That’s the approach the Mets are taking with All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, who was officially placed on the disabled list before Thursday’s series closer at the L.A. Dodgers with a Grade 1 (the mildest version) strain of his left hamstring.
Sidelined since feeling a twinge and subsequent soreness in the leg during Saturday’s game against the Yankees, the highly touted free-agent-to-be sought a second opinion on the injury Wednesday at the request of his agents.
The Grade 1 strain was confirmed, and the Mets opted to play it safe with their marquee player, who is enjoying the best season of his career with NL bests of 124 hits, 64 runs scored, 15 triples and a .354 batting average.
With the Mets on the West Coast for a weekend series in San Francisco prior to this week’s All-Star break, Angel Pagan was expected to take Reyes’ spot atop the lineup. Ruben Tejada will get most of the playing time at shortstop, and the team recalled utility man Nick Evans from Triple-A Buffalo to fill out the roster.
Reyes’ propensity for leg injuries is probably the only thing making free-agent suitors — and the Mets themselves — cautious about signing the shortstop to a nine-figure, multi-year deal following the season.
The 28-year-old Dominican missed most of the 2004 and 2009 campaigns due to injuries to his right hamstring and began last year on the DL with a thyroid imbalance.
Despite missing corner infield regulars David Wright (back) and Ike Davis (ankle), the Mets have navigated their way into contention for an NL wild-card spot. Though the Reyes injury could hurt their playoff chances, it may also bring down the Mets’ offseason price for a player their fans have embraced.