Pagan set for surgery, out until May
Mets outfielder to have bone spur removed from right elbow
VIERA, Fla. -- For the second successive year, surgery will derail Angel Pagan's season.
Nearly eight months after undergoing an operation to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, Pagan will visit the operating room once again. This time, the trouble is a bone spur in his right elbow. Doctors will remove the bone spur Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.
Pagan is expected to miss six to eight weeks.
"The good thing about it is that it's early," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said.
Pagan was battling with Jeremy Reed, among others, for the fifth and final outfielder's spot with the club, and his surgery all but ensures that Reed will make the team. Arguably the best overall athlete on the Mets, Pagan was hitting a career-best .275 with four steals last year before crashing into the stands at Dodger Stadium in May as he attempted to catch a foul ball. He dabbled with rest and rehab but eventually elected for surgery, putting an end to his season in July.
After making a full recovery over the offseason, Pagan entered Spring Training with an outside shot of overtaking Reed for the fifth outfielder's job -- a possibility that increased after he produced seven hits in his first 15 Grapefruit League at-bats. But soreness in his right elbow resulted in a trip to New York for tests, the results of which led to a recommendation for surgery.
A recovery time of six to eight weeks would make it possible that Pagan could return to the team by mid-May, though he won't be assured of a job if he does. Assuming Reed does win one of the few open jobs in camp, he will join Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church, Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis in the outfield.
Reed's main asset is his defense, making him an appropriate complement to the offensive-minded fourth outfielder, Tatis.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.