Mets’ bullpen problem gets worse as Drew Smith goes on IL
Even on an off day, the Mets’ bullpen problem got worse.
Drew Smith was placed on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Monday with a right lat strain, the team announced Thursday ahead of Friday’s series opener in Miami. The Mets did not announce a timetable for Smith’s return or a corresponding roster move.
Smith has not pitched since Sunday and was not used during a Subway Series in which Adam Ottavino recorded five outs Tuesday and David Peterson and Seth Lugo were leaned upon Wednesday.
Smith, whose 2021 season was cut short due to a right shoulder injury, was excellent early this season, when he did not allow a run in his first 13 ⅓ innings. But his effectiveness has waned as the season has gone on, and the righty has allowed nine runs in his past 9 ⅓ innings, raising his ERA to 3.51.
The timing – five days before the trade deadline – could be significant for a team that already was hunting for bullpen help and already had traded Colin Holderman for Daniel Vogelbach.
The Mets have not found a reliable arm behind Edwin Diaz and Ottavino. The more urgent issue has been a lefty reliever, especially after Chasen Shreve was designated for assignment, but it’s possible the Mets add a righty reliever, too.
Trevor May could return from the IL next week, but the Mets will have to decide what their bullpen needs by Tuesday’s deadline.
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