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Star-Bulletin Sports

Saturday, April 8, 2000

M A J O R _ L E A G U E _ B A S E B A L L

might stay with
Mets after all

An injury to another player
means there may be room
on the roster after all

Staff and wire services


NEW YORK -- Benny Agbayani may not be going down to the minor league after all.

The New York Mets placed outfielder Darryl Hamilton on the 15-day disabled list yesterday with a sprained left foot.

The injury most likely gives a reprieve to Agbayani, a former St. Louis School and Hawaii Pacific University standout who had been slated to go back to Norfolk tomorrow to make room for fifth starter Glendon Rusch.

Agbayani has five RBIs in just two at-bats -- one-third of the Mets run production through the first five games. But he was ticketed to return to the minors because center-fielder Jay Payton would have to be put on waivers before being sent down.

"It's frustrating," Agbayani said. "I thought I proved myself last year and now I have to prove myself again. But I'm not getting the same chance I got last year."

X-rays on Hamilton's foot were negative, although doctors are treating the injury like a stress fracture. Hamilton saw a specialist yesterday and will return to the doctor Monday.

Mets general manager Steve Phillips said he doesn't anticipate losing his starting center fielder for more than 15 days.

"We have a lot of other capable outfielders," Mets manager Bobby Valentine said. "It will give some other guys some playing time."

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