New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain, the club announced on Saturday. To take Lindor's spot on the active roster, the Mets have recalled second baseman/outfielder Travis Blankenhorn. Lindor told reporters before Saturday's game that it is a Grade 2 strain.
"This is the first time something like this has happened in my career," Lindor told Newsday's Tim Britton. "I don't have any timetable. I would love to say I'm day-to-day but I'm not. This is more like week-to-week at the beginning and we'll see how I bounce back."
Lindor exited Friday night's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with what the team initially labeled right side soreness after grounding out to end the top of the fifth inning. Lindor appeared to be in immediate discomfort, as he winced and did not run out a ball hit deep into the overshift. Here's video of the sequence:
The Mets replaced Lindor at shortstop with utility infielder Luis Guillorme.
While Lindor is out, the Mets will likely turn to some combination of Guillorme and Jonathan Villar at short. Villar has been the Mets' regular at third base, but with J.D. Davis back from his own injury, New York could justify the move.
It's not certain how long Lindor will be out, but oblique injuries can be slow to heal. This marks just the second time that Lindor has been on the IL in his career. A grade 2 strain is moderate, with mild being grade 1 and severe being grade 3. Back in 2017, there was a study that found position players generally miss about 27 days with a grade 1 strain, so it appears the Mets will be without Lindor for quite a while and that might even trigger a stop-gap option in a trade (Trevor Story, Andrelton Simmons and Javier Báez are all free agents after the season and could serve as rentals, for example).
Lindor this season is hitting .228/.326/.376 (96 OPS+) with 11 home runs and eight stolen bases (on 10 tries). His performance had picked up recently after a slow start. He hit .198/.295/.299 through April and May, but he had batted .262/.362/.468 beginning in June.
The Mets acquired Lindor as part of a six-player trade with Cleveland over the winter. New York also added right-handed pitcher Carlos Carrasco, who has yet to make a regular-season start because of injury. In exchange, the Mets gave up infielders Amed Rosario and Andrés Giménez, as well as right-hander Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene.
According to Spotrac, the Mets have had 27 players spend time on the injured list this season, resulting in 1,160 days lost. Those marks rank fourth in Major League Baseball. Nevertheless, the Mets come into Saturday with a 47-41 record on the year, good for first place in the National League East. The Mets led the Philadelphia Phillies by three games.