Yet Another Mets Player Bitten By The Injury Bug

Phil HoopsCorrespondent IJune 4, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - MAY 16:  J.J. Putz #22 of the New York Mets celebrates after he struck out Fred Lewis #14 of the San Francisco Giants to end the game at AT&T Park on May 16, 2009 in San Francisco, California.  The Mets won 9-6. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

As if the Mets weren’t plagued by enough injuries already, the team has yet another one to deal with.

Following today’s game against the Pirates, Jerry Manuel announced that J.J. Putz will fly back to New York to have his elbow examined by team doctors.

According to Newsday’s David Lennon's Twitter page, Putz’s “elbow still hurts and [Putz] can’t pitch without pain.”

Obviously, this is the last thing Mets fans wanted to hear as Putz was slated to be one of the key pieces to the bullpen. Throughout the year, Putz has shown glimpses of the superstar pitcher that he normally is. However, most of the time you can tell that there is no zip on his pitches.

Luckily, rookie pitcher Bobby Parnell has stepped up his game and has proved to be an equally effective setup man.

In 26 relief appearances this year, Parnell has posted a 2.08 ERA and recorded 20 strike outs. The question is though, can Parnell keep up his impressive numbers?

This terrible news comes less than 24 hours after the Mets revealed that Jose Reyes will no longer return to the team on Friday and will also have to return to New York due to a troublesome calf injury.

I get the sense that from now until the All-Star break, this is going to be a trying time for this team as they will have to find ways to win without their star lead-off man, their biggest slugger and one of the key pieces to their bullpen.

This will certainly be a true test of character and an indicator if this is a championship-caliber team.