The Mets announced on Tuesday that they’ve optioned right-hander Hansel Robles to Triple-A Las Vegas. That’s a somewhat surprising and definitively unfortunate measure for the team to resort to, as Robles has emerged as a solid relief option for the Mets over the past two seasons. However, the 26-year-old has been shelled for 12 earned runs in his past three outings (2 2/3 innings), causing his ERA to balloon from 1.42 to 6.23. He’ll hope to sort things out in what will be his first minor league stint since early 2015. Robles’ struggles, paired with the loss of Jeurys Familia for the next several months (and possibly the rest of the season) have rapidly thinned out an already overworked Mets relief corps. The Mets’ bullpen entered play Tuesday tied for seventh in the Majors with 157 2/3 innings of work on the books, and the team has already gone outside the organization to bring in righty Neil Ramirez as a fresh arm. Addison Reed is currently closing in Queens, with Fernando Salas, Paul Sewald and Jerry Blevins among the top setup options. The Mets recalled lefty Josh Smoker in place of Robles, giving manager Terry Collins another option.
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- MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo provides a few updates on the injury front. Slugger Yoenis Cespedes is still a few days away from returning, as the Mets have decided to send him on a minor league rehab assignment once his running program is wrapped up. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud, meanwhile, is catching Steven Matz’s rehab game in Las Vegas tonight and should be ready for activation in the very near future. Both Matz and right-hander Seth Lugo require another rehab start before they’ll be cleared to return to the big league roster.
- However, even with d’Arnaud’s return imminent, he’s not guaranteed to reclaim his role as the starting catcher. As Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News writes, Collins over the weekend voiced a desire to keep Rene Rivera in the lineup. “Rene Rivera has earned a spot, has earned a job catching. We’re going to play him as much as possible,” said Collins. “By no means are we going to sit Rene Rivera down and not have him play much anymore.” On the other hand, one team source suggests to Ackert that d’Arnaud won’t be losing his starting role as long as he hits well upon his return. The 33-year-old Rivera entered play today hitting .308/.337/.410 through his first 83 plate appearances. d’Arnaud was hitting .203/.288/.475 with four homers in 66 plate appearances when he landed on the DL.