ANGEL PAGAN, May 13, 2008 Left shoulder contusion Pagan had...

ANGEL PAGAN, May 13, 2008
Left shoulder contusion
Pagan had been filling in well for Moises Alou but was injured making a catch along the fence in foul territory at Dodger Stadium. Pagan did not return that season.
Games missed: 126 games
Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Angel Pagan was removed midway through the second inning Tuesday because of tightness in his lower back, but he said it was only because he couldn't get comfortable during the 150-mile bus ride from Port St. Lucie to the Tigers' complex.

"During the season I could have played with it," Pagan said, "but there's no reason to get something bad out of it and maybe get hurt."

Pagan already was scheduled to be off Wednesday, manager Terry Collins said. Pagan expects to return to the lineup Thursday.

Willie Harris, one of the best defensive outfielders in camp, wasn't available because he was the designated hitter. Harris hit a grand slam in the Mets' 7-4 win.

Collins said Carlos Beltran is exclusively a rightfielder this season.

Izzy passes test

Jason Isringhausen, in his own words, "survived" a morning catch Tuesday with pitching coach Dan Warthen and expects to remain on schedule for Opening Day.

Isringhausen, 38, had not appeared in a game since Friday because of muscle soreness in his right elbow, and was prescribed a three-day dosage of anti-inflammatory medication.

Isringhausen began with some long throws from shortstop, and then lightly spun off about nine or 10 curveballs to Warthen. Isringhausen's looping curve puts the most strain on that area of the elbow -- he's had three Tommy John operations -- but there were no issues. The day after is usually the best indication, but Isringhausen doesn't anticipate any more setbacks.

"There won't be any problem," Isringhausen said. "I can already tell. It actually feels like I haven't thrown in five days, that's the only thing. Old muscles get tight and I've got to throw. But it's fine, as far as I'm concerned."

Extra bases

Jon Niese allowed four runs, five hits and walked one in four innings . . . The Mets improved to 13-12-2 . . . Luis Castillo reported to Phillies camp, four days after he was released.