ATLANTA -- The Mets' desperate pitching situation actually got worse Saturday when Chris Young was placed on the 15-day disabled list with biceps tendinitis. Removing him from the rotation, however, was better than risking him against the Braves Sunday with a tired bullpen and the possibility of a setback.
"I understand completely," Young said before Saturday's doubleheader at Turner Field. "Doing what's right for the team first, and secondly for my long-term health. Obviously, there's a level of disappointment, too -- this wasn't what I'd hoped for coming into the season. But you can't predict these things."
Young, 31, made only four starts last season because of shoulder problems, and the Mets -- taking into account those health issues -- signed him to an incentive-laden one-year contract worth a guaranteed $1.1 million. Despite that history, manager Terry Collins said the team has no plans for an MRI, and Young said he doesn't want one.
"I think at this point, the symptoms are more important than what you can see on the test," Young said. "The MRI may or may not show something. It may or may not show something completely different than where I feel the discomfort. We've talked to the doctors, and treating the symptoms, I think, is the better solution at this point."
The DL move is backdated to his April 10 start, so Young is eligible to return April 26, and the Mets see no reason for him to be sidelined longer than that. They recalled lefthander Pat Misch from Triple-A Buffalo, and he was used as a reliever in Game 1. As of Saturday afternoon, they had yet to decide on a starter for Sunday's series finale.
After Friday's rainout, Young huddled with Collins, pitching coach Dan Warthen and trainer Ray Ramirez -- general manager Sandy Alderson was on speakerphone -- to discuss the chances of his following through with Sunday's scheduled start. After further deliberation, however, Collins decided against it.
"He was not going to pitch," he said. "Listening to all sides, all the factors involved. I talked to Sandy at length [Friday] and didn't sleep very good. I woke up this morning and just said, 'Nah, I'm not going to do it.' I just don't think it's worth the risk."
Young has been one of the few early bright spots, with a 1.46 ERA in his first two starts, and he allowed only one hit in seven scoreless innings April 10 against the Nationals.
That's when the tendinitis flared up -- due in part to the chilly weather -- but Young is optimistic the condition is getting better.
"It's a concern that I'm missing a start," Young said. "I want to be out there. But it's not a concern in terms of I can't lift my arm, or there's no strength. My strength, my range of motion, that's all really good. It's just the irritation in the biceps tendon seems to be lingering."