Already sidelined for over two months, Jose Reyes returned to New York to have his torn hamstring examined by doctors Tuesday after he experienced pain while rehabbing in Florida. There's no official update yet on his status, but nearly every major media outlet in New York is speculating that the Mets may simply shut him down for the season with 56 games remaining and the playoffs slipping away.
Alex Cora has been the primary replacement for Reyes, manning shortstop in 51 games compared to 20 total starts from Ramon Martinez, Wilson Valdez, Angel Berroa, and Argenis Reyes. Unfortunately the 33-year-old career .246/.314/.344 hitter has batted just .257/.330/.310 over 280 plate appearances for a 20 percent dropoff from Reyes' strong .291/.355/.456 mark during the past three seasons.
While the Mets' season amazingly keeps getting worse against all odds, here are some other notes from around baseball …
* Sent to Cleveland as part of last week's Victor Martinez trade, Justin Masterson is expected to join the Indians' rotation soon. He worked out of the bullpen for 52 of 67 games with Boston, but Masterson was a promising starter prospect while coming up through the minors. He projects as a mid-rotation starter, but needs to show that he can get left-handers out after they hit .272/.372/.448 against him.
* Yusmeiro Petit was among my NL-only pitching sleepers heading into the year, but went 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA through 10 starts prior to Tuesday. So naturally he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Pirates before Ronny Cedeno's single broke things up and finished with eight frames of shutout, one-hit ball. He was also solid in three of his previous four starts, but don't expect a breakout.
* Viewed by many as the afterthought in last week's trade that sent John Grabow to Chicago, Tom Gorzelanny made his Cubs debut Tuesday by holding the Reds to one run over 7.1 innings. Gorzelanny won 14 games with a 3.88 ERA in 201.2 innings as a 24-year-old in 2007 before his control vanished, but he tossed 66 of 98 pitches for strikes and handed out just one walk against Cincinnati.
* Brian Matusz had a successful big-league debut Tuesday, throwing five innings of one-run ball against the Tigers in Detroit. He gave up four doubles among six total hits and issued three walks, but struck out five, kept the ball in the park, and threw 65 of 99 pitches for strikes. While he may be limited to AL-only upside this season, the 21-year-old former No. 4 overall pick has long-term ace potential.
AL Quick Hits: Vladimir Guerrero went 1-for-3 in his return from the disabled list Tuesday … Bobby Jenks could be unavailable for several more days because of kidney stones … Jarrod Washburn allowed six runs over 5.1 innings in his Tigers debut Tuesday … Melvin Mora rejoined the lineup Tuesday after being benched for four of the past five games … Carlos Gomez missed his second career cycle by a triple Tuesday, driving in four runs … Roy Halladay gave up five runs in a complete-game loss Tuesday, going the distance for the fifth time … Scott Baker tossed seven shutout innings Tuesday, dropping his ERA to 4.59 after beginning the year 0-4 with a 9.15 mark … Torii Hunter (groin) is set to begin a rehab stint this weekend at Double-A … Tim Wakefield (calf) was unable to throw Tuesday, leaving him weeks from returning … Alexei Ramirez (ankle) was out of the lineup Tuesday for his fifth straight game.
NL Quick Hits: Albert Pujols went 4-for-5 with two homers Tuesday, including his fifth grand slam … Jonathan Sanchez tossed seven shutout innings Tuesday for his first road win of the season … Lance Berkman (calf) is unlikely to come off the disabled list when eligible Friday … Luis Castillo sprained his ankle walking down the dugout steps Tuesday, which sounds about right for the Mets … Johan Santana allowed five runs over eight frames Tuesday before the bullpen blew his win … Troy Glaus' rehab stint has been shut down indefinitely because his back injury hasn't responded to treatment … Geovany Soto (oblique) is now expected to rejoin the lineup Friday … Ryan Roberts was 4-for-5 with two bombs Tuesday, raising his batting average to .285 … Josh Johnson fell apart in the eighth inning Tuesday after logging seven scoreless frames, allowing more than three runs for the first time since mid-April.