NEW YORK -- The Mets recalled infielder Justin Turner from Triple-A Buffalo on Saturday in response to Jason Bay's move to the seven-day concussion list. Turner had missed 17 games due to an ankle injury he suffered during a rundown on May 27.
"This was the right move at the right time for us," manager Terry Collins said. "He's a good enough player. He really gives us a very good option off the bench of a guy who can handle the bat."
Turner feels pain in his ankle when he wakes up in the morning, but it eventually subsides after walking around on it for a few minutes. He has been wearing an ankle sleeve with light tape on top of it during games. He said his return to the team was a lot faster than he initially expected when he suffered the injury.
"When I first did it, I thought I broke it, so this is a lot quicker than that," Turner said. "I've [hurt] my ankle a couple times before and been back on it in less than a week. This was a situation where we wanted to be a little more careful with it, and be closer to 100 percent before I was back."
Turner is one of the five options Collins has been forced to use at shortstop as a result of injuries. With Ruben Tejada and Ronny Cedeno on the disabled list, Collins said he'd consider moving Turner back to the position. He wants to assure Turner's ankle is fine before making any decisions. Turner played second base in a rehab game on Friday and shortstop the night before.
Before Friday's game, Collins alluded to Bay's slump when he spoke about the mystery involved in guessing the number of at-bats an injured position player needs before feeling comfortable facing Major League pitching again. Turner's callup makes that conversation relevant. While he only received 20 total at-bats in rehab appearances -- 12 in Class A Port St. Lucie and eight in Triple-A Buffalo -- Collins said the 27-year-old utility man could handle the challenge of coming back quicker because he's used to coming off the bench.
"I feel real good at the plate," Turner said. "I feel real comfortable. I only missed 10 days of swinging the bat, so it wasn't a significant amount of time. The first time I picked up the bat, I felt like I wasn't too far off."
Triple-A Buffalo manager Wally Backman notified Turner of Bay's injury when he was on third base during Friday's game and said to be ready for a callup to New York on Saturday.
Collins said Turner's callup would not delay the return of Cedeno, who he expects to join the Major League club around the middle of next week.
Rottino, Valdespin may see time in outfield
NEW YORK -- With Jason Bay being placed on the seven-day concussion list on Saturday, the carousel that was the Mets' outfield is back in motion.
Bay suffered his second career concussion after crashing into the left-field wall in the second inning on Friday. He was replaced by Scott Hairston, who also got the nod in left field on Saturday night.
Before Bay's return, manager Terry Collins routinely juggled outfielders Hairston, Andres Torres, Vinny Rottino and Jordany Valdespin.
"We think our outfield situation -- Rottino can play out there if we need to, Valdespin can play out there if we need to -- we've got some options of some guys who have some versatility," Collins said.
But despite the defensive versatility, struggles against right-handed pitching have Collins in a bind. Both Hairston and Torres have struggled against righties, batting .188 and .160, respectively. Collins stressed the importance of getting the pair going against right-handers, and said his plan is to "mix and match" outfielders on a day-by-day basis.
Hairston belted a two-run home run off Bronson Arroyo on Friday, and despite his struggles against righties, boasts a .320 batting average in June. Improving, he said, stems from keeping things simple at the plate.
"I just try to keep my shoulder in when I face right-handed pitching," Hairston said. "A lot of times, it's that pitch away that's hard to get to, so I just try to keep my shoulder in and focus my attention up the middle instead of trying to think pull. But first and foremost, I'm just trying to make sure I'm picking the ball up well."
Thole well aware of how Bay is feeling
NEW YORK -- If there's one person on the Mets' roster that can empathize with Jason Bay's situation, it's catcher Josh Thole.
Bay crashed into the wall on Friday while chasing down Jay Bruce's fly ball in the second inning. He was moved to the seven-day concussion list on Saturday. This is Bay's second bout with a concussion, as he missed the last two months of the 2010 season with one after he crashed into the left-field wall in Dodger Stadium. Thole returned from the disabled list on June 1, after suffering the second concussion of his career on May 8.
"It gets scarier because you go sit in doctors' offices and hear doctors tell you that you could be one away if you have a serious one," Thole said. "Then you start talking about stuff you don't really want to talk about. That's stuff you don't want to hear."
Manager Terry Collins said he hadn't talked to Bay on Saturday because he wanted his outfielder to stay home and rest. He guessed Bay would need more time on the disabled list than the seven days allotted for concussions.
"It's not easy," Thole said. "You have headaches. You want to be out here just as bad as anybody, and all you can do is be quarantined to your room, pretty much."
While Thole acknowledged the severity of concussions and the caution that needs to go into handling them because of the potential long-term effects, he downplayed the seriousness of the injury in baseball as compared to other more physical sports.
"It's different. Football, hockey and boxing are getting all of this big PR because of what's happening with the concussions in the NFL, but I personally feel like that's two different kind of concussions," Thole said. "You're talking about four straight quarters of just getting pounded to the head. Again, it's serious if you get hit in the head by a fastball, no question. It's serious if you get hit in the head at home plate or run into a wall. That's serious stuff, but a guy is taking a blow with his knuckles to your head time after time, not just one time, and then you're going to sit out for 15 days and do it all over again."
On Saturday, the Mets announced the signing of 13 players they selected in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, including third-round pick Matt Koch from the University of Louisville, fourth-round pick Branden Kaupe from Baldwin High School in Hawaii and fifth-round pick Brandon Welch from Palm Beach Community College in Florida.
Manager Terry Collins hopes to get Ruben Tejada in a rehab game by Monday. He ran straight lines on Saturday and will run semi-circles around the infield on Sunday to see if he's ready to move up to game action. He suffered a setback in a rehab game on June 5.
Ethan Asofsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.