Woozy Church out of starting lineup
Right fielder sits for third straight game after mild concussion
DENVER -- The Mets came into Colorado still reeling from a four-game sweep in Atlanta and eager to get Ryan Church, their best hitter, back in the lineup. But Church was even more disoriented than the rest of the club upon arriving in the Mile High City, complaining of lingering dizzy spells after suffering a mild concussion on the final out of Tuesday's game against the Braves.
"I woke up this morning with a killer headache," Church said before Friday's series opener against the Rockies. "That's gone. My biggest concern is just getting rid of this dizziness. Once I do that, I'll be all right."
Church, not in the starting lineup for the third straight game, said the dizziness is worse than it had been on Thursday, when he was able to pinch-hit in the eighth inning, collecting a single off Tim Hudson. He said he first noticed his condition feeling worse when he woke up on the flight to Denver on Thursday night, and after having trouble sleeping at the hotel, the dizzy spells bothered him throughout the day Friday.
"It just comes and goes in little spurts," Church said. "I'm hanging. It just stinks, especially when we're struggling. I want to get in there."
After having Church absent from the starting lineup on Wednesday and Thursday, Mets manager Willie Randolph was as eager as anyone to have Church back in right field and in the heart of his order, but particularly given an earlier concussion Church suffered in Spring Training, Randolph wants to be cautious.
"We'll take him day-to-day," Randolph said. "When he feels like he can work out and bounce back the next day -- which is the key -- then we'll get him back in the lineup.
"We miss him, and we need him. But again, you don't want to mess around with anything to do with the head. We'll just give him a light workout again today, and hopefully he'll be ready for a pinch-hitting role tonight, and we'll see if he can play tomorrow."
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.