The Mets announced following today’s game that they’ve optioned righties Paul Sewald and Chris Flexen to Triple-A Las Vegas. While the team said that corresponding moves won’t be announced until tomorrow, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that the organization will select the contracts of right-handed reliever Drew Smith and outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski (Twitter link). Kaczmarski was scratched from tonight’s lineup for the 51’s, Betsy Helfand of the Las Vegas Journal-Review tweets.
That pair of additions to the 40-man roster will require another pair of corresponding moves. The Mets, obviously, can move AJ Ramos from the 10-day DL to the 60-day DL to account for one of those moves, now that Ramos has undergone surgery to repair a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.
The second move isn’t yet clear. It’s possible that they could designate someone for assignment or release someone — Jose Reyes has been rumored to be on thin ice — and DiComo speculates that the team could recall injured righty Jamie Callahan and put him on the MLB 60-day DL, as he’s already out for the year.
[Related: New York Mets depth chart]
In Smith, the Mets will be getting their first MLB look at the hard-throwing righty they acquired from the Rays in last year’s Lucas Duda trade. The 24-year-old has worked to a 3.00 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9 and a 45.6 percent ground-ball rate through 30 innings in an excessively hitter-friendly environment. MLB.com ranks him as the team’s No. 30 prospect, praising his plus heater and above-average curveball and writing that he has “all the ingredients to be an effective short reliever.”
Kaczmarski, 26, has just 24 games of experience at the Triple-A level, but a combination of his impressive numbers and several injuries in the Mets’ outfield mix has opened an opportunity for him in the Majors, it seems. The 2015 ninth-rounder has hit .363/.413/.450 through 92 plate appearances in Vegas and has a track record of relatively low strikeout rates and solid walk rates. For a Mets club that is currently using Dominic Smith in left field with Cespedes, Jay Bruce and Juan Lagares all on the disabled list, it’s only logical to see a more natural outfield option join the fray.