The Mets have placed closer Bobby Parnell on the 15-day disabled list because of a herniated disc in his neck and have recalled infielder Wilmer Flores from Triple-A Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Flores, one of the rebuilding Mets’ top prospects, was in the lineup batting sixth and playing third base on Tuesday night against the Colorado Rockies for his major league debut – on his 22nd birthday no less.
New York captain David Wright was placed on the DL recently with a strained right hamstring. The All-Star third baseman aggravated a nagging injury trying to beat out an infield single on Friday night.
The move with Parnell was made retroactive to July 31. Manager Terry Collins said the Mets would use several pitchers in the ninth inning in Parnell’s place, but that David Aardsma, LaTroy Hawkins, Carlos Torres and even Gonzalez Germen were likely to get chances.
Flores, who was hitting .321 with Las Vegas, led the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League with 86 RBIs when he was called up. He mostly played at shortstop in Las Vegas, but has played third base in winter ball.
He grounded out to the pitcher in his first big league at-bat, ending the first inning. The Venezuelan, who was signed by the Mets six years ago to the day, got some applause from fans who noticed it was his debut when he came to bat.