Thumb injury lands Mets' Cora on DL

Mets place Cora on 15-day DL

LOS ANGELES -- Minutes before jogging onto the field to test his damaged right thumb, Mets infielder Alex Cora stood beside his locker and shot out a quick warning.

"If I can't make a throw, then I'm not going to play," Cora said. "That's putting my team in a bad spot."

He could not make a throw.

Instead, Cora landed on the disabled list with what tests revealed to be a torn ligament in his right thumb, leaving the Mets starkly shorthanded at shortstop for Monday's series opener against the Dodgers. To fill Cora's roster spot, the Mets purchased the contract of infielder Ramon Martinez from Triple-A Buffalo and placed him in the starting lineup.

Regular shortstop Jose Reyes saw a doctor in Los Angeles on Monday afternoon, after experiencing continued swelling in his stiff right calf. Reyes, who has a mild case of tendinitis in his right calf, has missed five consecutive games. And for the fifth consecutive day, he said he expected to be in the lineup "tomorrow."

"We don't think about the disabled list," Reyes said. "I feel better, but the process is slow."

Cora, 33, had been starting in place of Reyes but left Sunday's game after he sprained his thumb sliding into second base in the first inning. That forced the Mets to use Fernando Tatis at shortstop for the first time in a decade -- an emergency move that they were not willing to repeat.

Instead, they purchased the contract of Martinez, a veteran infielder who played in seven games for the Mets last season. Martinez, 36, was batting .290 in nine games for Triple-A Buffalo. Scheduled to play in Pawtucket, R.I., on Monday, Martinez caught a cross-country flight and arrived at Dodger Stadium about 25 minutes before first pitch.

Earlier Monday, the Mets learned that first baseman Carlos Delgado will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum and remove a bone spur from his right hip. They are already playing without regular catcher Brian Schneider and starting pitcher Oliver Perez, who are both rehabbing injuries in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Cora was hitting .333 with nine runs scored and three stolen bases in 26 games prior to the injury, and had committed just one error in 108 1/3 innings.

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.