NEW YORK -- Twice in two months, Jose Reyes has gone on the disabled list with a hamstring problem.
"I need to find a way to stay on the field," the Mets shortstop said Monday.
Reyes reinjured his left hamstring Sunday, just three weeks after he returned from the DL and only a day after he finally had a game where he felt able to run at full strength. Reyes also spent time on the DL last year (with an oblique injury) and in 2009 (with a tear in his right hamstring tendon).
"It can happen to anybody," Reyes said. "People have to understand that I don't try to get injured. A lot of people pull hamstrings. But I need to find a way to stay healthy for a full season."
Reyes said this pull doesn't feel as severe as the last one, which sidelined him for 17 days. The Mets waited until Monday afternoon to officially put Reyes on the DL, but he didn't fight the decision.
The Mets also placed Daniel Murphy on the DL Monday, with a sprained MCL in his left knee, an injury that almost certainly ends his season. To replace Reyes and Murphy, the Mets recalled Ruben Tejada and Mike Baxter from Triple-A Buffalo.
As of Monday, Reyes was leading the National League with a .336 batting average, while Murphy was fifth, at .320.
The Mets have struggled to find a position Murphy can play without hurting himself or the team, and manager Terry Collins suggested Monday that a move back to the outfield might be best. Murphy began the 2009 season as the Mets' starting left fielder, but he had so much trouble handling the position that he was moved back to the infield by the end of May.
Finding a position isn't a problem for Reyes, one of the game's top shortstops. But with Reyes on the DL, Collins said that Tejada will play regularly, in part so the team can judge whether he can handle the spot if Reyes leaves as a free agent.
The Mets would like to re-sign Reyes, and earlier this summer they tried to open negotiations with his agent, Peter Greenberg. But Reyes and Greenberg decided not to negotiate during the season.
Both said Monday that they had no regrets about that decision, even after two trips to the disabled list. And Reyes said he still doesn't want to talk contract until the season ends.
They are open to ideas about ways to keep Reyes healthier, although the shortstop rejected a suggestion that he try yoga.
"I did that one time, in 2004," Reyes said. "Not good. But I need to find something."
That something will not involve playing the game at less than 100 percent speed.
"I talked to Jose for 30 minutes, and I said I will never ask you to change the way you play," Collins said. "That's who he is. That's why he's a great player. That's why he's exciting."
But right now, he's hurt -- again.
Right now, he needs a way to stay on the field.