Mets manager Mickey Callaway announced today that lefty Jason Vargas is headed to the 10-day injured list, as Tim Healey of Newsday was among those to cover on Twitter. He left his most recent start with a hamstring injury and is evidently going to need some time to recover.
Fortunately for the New York organization, there’s still hope of a quicker bounce back for fellow southpaw starter Steven Matz, who isn’t joining Vargas on the IL. Matz is being treated for nerve irritation in his elbow, but it’s obviously not seen as a terribly worrisome issue.
The Mets will need a fill-in starter for Wednesday, at least, but haven’t yet settled on a name. Reliever Corey Oswalt was called up to fill the open roster spot; he’s one of several long-man/spot-start candidates who could be tasked with the open start, individually or in tandem.
More important than the mid-week outing is the full-season picture for the Mets staff. The club has already come under some scrutiny for sticking with Vargas to this point. While he has certainly turned in a more promising run of outings more recently, he’s a rather limited option at 36 years of age.
A significant acquisition isn’t likely at this point of the year, but the Mets could use this time to look at internal alternatives or potential piggyback candidates to pair with Vargas once he’s activated. It’s not yet clear how long Vargas is expected to be sidelined.