Benson, Cameron injuries wrench plans

With the Mets just hours away from kicking off the 2005 regular season at Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark, the team has been dealt a pair of surprise cards.

Kris Benson, tentatively scheduled to pitch Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, will make no such start. The right-hander has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained pectoral muscle.

Meanwhile, outfielder Mike Cameron – gunning to make an Opening Day start after having his right wrist surgically repaired in December – may fall just short.

After recovering to the point where he was able to play in six Grapefruit League contests, batting .333, Cameron complained of abnormal pain in the wrist on Friday and was sent back to New York for further examination.

The Mets diagnosed the injury as tendinitis, and with Benson headed to the shelf, the team recalled outfielder Victor Diaz from Triple-A Norfolk in the corresponding roster move. Diaz made the trip with the Mets to Washington for Sunday's 4-3 victory over the Nationals as an insurance policy in case an event such as this cropped up.

If the Mets were still in spring training, the easy move would have been to tab Matt Ginter as a replacement starter for Benson, but New York dealt Ginter to the Detroit Tigers for left-handed reliever Steve Colyer over the weekend, believing that Ginter would not pass through waivers on his way to Triple-A Norfolk.

Instead, the Mets may have to give the ball to reliever Manny Aybar, owner of 28 big league starts and only two since 1998, or consider calling up Triple-A hurlers Jae Seo or Aaron Heilman.

Mets Notes

  • Over the weekend, the Mets traded minor league right-hander Pat Mahomes – a member of New York's back-to-back playoff teams in 1999 and 2000 – to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named.

  • With the victory Sunday at Washington, the Mets wrapped up the exhibition season six games over .500 at 17-11.

  • Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories