CINCINNATI - The Mets acquired Juan Uribe for his presence in the clubhouse and his ability to add depth to the lineup. But the valuable veteran could be sidelined in the postseason because of a lingering chest injury.
"There's a little concern there," manager Terry Collins said Saturday, when doctors offered a gloomy prognosis.
Uribe left Friday night's game after a swing aggravated a deep bruise in his chest. He initially suffered the injury last Sunday while diving for a grounder.
"He's hurting today," Collins said. "He's not going to be available certainly on this trip."
Uribe, 36, is hitting .219 with six homers since coming to the Mets via a trade with the Braves. But his value has come through with a string of clutch hits and a boisterous personality that Collins said has lightened the mood in the clubhouse.
Uribe also brings plenty of postseason experience, with World Series championships earned with the White Sox (2005) and Giants (2010).
"Not only did he come here to help us offensively but he brought a presence in the clubhouse of a guy who knows how to win," Collins said. "He's got rings to prove it. So him not being available, we want to make sure he stays around because his influence is going to be huge."
According to Collins, it's "very possible" that Jonathon Niese and Bartolo Colon soon could find themselves working out of the bullpen in preparation for their possible roles in the postseason.
"Until we get there, I haven't talked to those guys," Collins said. "I don't need them to go to their phones and see that they're going to the bullpen, because I haven't talked to them yet. I'm just going to let it ride, but there's a possibility that, yeah, we might alter some things."
Collins left open the possibility that Niese and Colon will not start as scheduled against the Phillies so they can begin transitioning into relief roles.
The Mets will need four starting pitchers for the National League Division Series against the Dodgers, with the young foursome of Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz seemingly lined up to take those assignments.
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