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Mets CF Pagan on DL with oblique injury

Mets centerfielder Angel Pagan was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday because of a strained left oblique, and the team was not certain when he would return.

The Mets made the move a day after left fielder Jason Bay returned to the lineup. Bay missed the first 18 games with a strained ribcage.

"After they put the ice pack on your rib and after you wake up, I felt a little more sore than last night," Pagan said. "That's not a good sign so they decided to put me on the DL."

Jason Pridie was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and was in the starting lineup Friday night against Arizona. Manager Terry Collins said Pridie was brought up because of his defense and was starting over Willie Harris with flyball pitcher Mike Pelfrey on the mound for New York.

Collins said he wouldn't use Carlos Beltran in center after the All-Star made the switch to right field this spring to protect his knees.

"I told him the first day of spring training when the decision was going to be made, if he was going to be the right fielder that I would not put him back in center field," Collins said. "The one thing I don't want to do is take a guy of his caliber, his credentials and jack him around a little bit."

Pagan was hurt swinging the bat Thursday in the fifth inning of the Mets game against Houston.

General manager Sandy Alderson was reluctant to give a timetable for Pagan's return because of the nature of oblique injuries, which Bay called on Thursday "en vogue" this season.

"These injuries are very hard to predict," Alderson said. "They generally take longer than anyone originally expects."

Pagan will not participate in any baseball activities until the soreness goes away.

According to STATS LLC, there have been 18 players placed on the DL this season with oblique injuries or injuries in the same area: the side muscle extending from the ribs to abdomen. In the same period last year there were just 11 such injuries.

Collins thinks the increase in the number of these type of injuries the past few years has to do with the rigorous training athletes partake in.

"Ever since the emphasis on conditioning — a strong core — I'll tell you what, they're everywhere," he said.

Alderson agrees: "I think when musculature is more highly developed, more frequently attuned, there's probably a likelihood that these things can occur more frequently."

Pagan was struggling at the plate this season, hitting .159 with one homer and six RBIs.

The Mets claimed Pridie off waivers last year from the Minnesota Twins but was limited to 40 games at Buffalo because of hamstring injuries. He was hitting .186 in 14 games for Buffalo this season.