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Mets infielder Jed Lowrie suffers setback in injury rehabilitation

The Mets' Jed Lowrie speaks during his introductory

The Mets' Jed Lowrie speaks during his introductory press conference at Citi Field on Jan. 16, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

WASHINGTON — Jed Lowrie’s sprained left knee capsule, which sidelined him for all of spring training and the first quarter of the Mets’ season, is all better.

But now he is dealing with a strained left hamstring that will keep him out indefinitely. Lowrie will head to the Mets’ facility in Port St. Lucie, manager Mickey Callaway said, and participate in baseball activities “as tolerated.” Callaway added that Lowrie will be re-evaluated in “a couple of weeks.”

Last week, the Mets thought Lowrie might join them when they returned home Friday. After conferring with the player, team decision-makers opted to let him continue his rehab assignment with Triple-A Syracuse, which is where the hamstring issue occurred.

“He’s down about it. He’s frustrated,” Callaway said. “He wants to come up here and help the team. I talked to him a couple days ago and he was like, ‘Man, it’s just tough.’ But he understands he needs to be in a better spot. Just keep on plugging away.

“It’s just the reality. You have to deal with reality. It would’ve been nice to get him back and see what he can do, but we can’t at this point. We got other guys.”

J.D. Davis and Todd Frazier will continue to split time at third base in Lowrie’s absence. Callaway also mentioned Jeff McNeil as an option, though they prefer to let him focus on his work in leftfield, where he starts nearly every game.

This also leaves a hole in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. The Mets had planned to insert Lowrie there, moving Pete Alonso to cleanup.

“Several different people can fill in that role,” said Callaway, who batted Amed Rosario second Tuesday against the Nationals. “Alonso can go back in the role if we feel like everybody is clicking again.”

The Mets signed Lowrie — one of general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s former clients — to a two-year, $20-million contract in January. Lowrie, 35, has a long injury history in his 12 major-league seasons, but averaged 155 games the past two seasons, the most productive of his career.

Injury roundup

Lowrie is far from alone on the Mets’ injured list. Among his peers:

- Justin Wilson is dealing with inflammation but no structural damage, in his sore left elbow, he said. Wilson was on the IL for two weeks with a sore elbow, felt better, returned to pitch in one game last week and got sore again.

Callaway said Wilson will “just take a couple days off from throwing, let everything settle down and start the throwing progression again.”

- Steven Matz (radial nerve discomfort) is scheduled for another bullpen session Wednesday. After previously penciling Matz in for a return Thursday, the Mets now are being mysterious about when he might pitch.

“No target date really,” Callaway said. “Just going to assess each day on how he comes back.”

- Jason Vargas (left hamstring issue) threw a bullpen Tuesday and, like Matz, is day-to-day. The Mets will need a fifth starter by Saturday, be it Matz or Vargas or someone else.

- Luis Avilan (sore left elbow) is in Port St. Lucie and is scheduled to start throwing Wednesday, Callaway said.

Wait, what?

Callaway mentioned the Mets’ record in games Wilson Ramos starts (17-11 entering Tuesday) as a credit to Ramos, who has struggled at hitting, framing pitches and controlling the running game this season.

Is win percentage something Callaway values in evaluating catchers?

"I mean, yeah. We want to win, right?” Callaway said. “You’re a pretty good team when he's out there. You win a lot. That’s how I look at it. Absolutely.”

Ramos smacked a grand slam, his second homer of the season, in the first inning of Tuesday's game in Washington.

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