PHILADELPHIA -- Minutes before Saturday's game against the Phillies, the Mets scratched starting center fielder Juan Lagares due to muscle spasms near the back of his right ribcage. Chris Young replaced Lagares in center, batting leadoff.
Lagares, who played all 14 innings of Friday night's loss to the Phillies, said he first felt something abnormal in his final at-bat of the game. He aggravated the injury taking batting practice prior to Saturday's contest, but felt well enough to start.
"I know it's nothing bad," said Lagares, who is day-to-day. "It's like a minimal thing."
Still, the Mets were taking no risks with Lagares, one of their most valuable players so far this season. Manager Terry Collins scratched him from the lineup and allowed him to lay down a pinch-hit sacrifice bunt in the 14th inning of the Mets 5-4 victory, but had no intentions of letting Lagares swing the bat.
Lagares, who is batting .291 in 40 games, lost time earlier this season to a hamstring strain. If he must miss additional time, the Mets have three other players capable of manning center field. Young, Curtis Granderson and Matt den Dekker are all natural center fielders on the active roster.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.