Church antsy to help depleted Mets

Church antsy to help depleted Mets

WASHINGTON -- The only pain Ryan Church has felt lately is the helpless agony of watching his teammates drop like flies.

Dealing with any lingering issues of a strained right hamstring was easy. The grueling part was sweating out his 15-day rehab in Port St. Lucie, Fla., while Jose Reyes, Angel Pagan, Ramon Martinez and J.J. Putz joined him on the disabled list.

"You just want to say uncle. When's it going to stop?" Church said. "Now, we've supposedly got the swine flu out of here, knock on wood. We've got guys healthy now and coming back."

Church, who is slated to come off the disabled list Sunday, made reference to the scare last week in Pittsburgh, when a media member traveling with the team was tested for the H1N1 virus, known as the swine flu, leading Mets officials to run test checks on members of the team. It was simply another instance of abnormal occurrences that have surrounded the Mets this season.

Church was happy to be back after rehabbing in the sweltering climate of the Florida coast, where he was subjected to Spring Training-like testing.

"It's a brand new thing," a grinning Church said about the workouts. "I wasn't a happy camper when I found out. I had to get up at 5 o'clock to do that."

Church, who was placed on the disabled list May 26, retroactive to May 23, voiced no frustration toward the club's decision to place him on the disabled list despite needing just three days to rebound. The move was made to both rest Church and get Carlos Beltran back on the active roster.

In hindsight, the move worked out best for all parties involved.

"It was probably the best ting to do, because now, we have everything taken care of that we had to," Church said. "I got down there, and within a couple days, I was ready to rock. I've just been sitting down there, waiting."

Sean Welsh is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.