The Mets’ bullpen is set for a couple noteworthy changes this weekend, per Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News. The team placed left-hander Justin Wilson on the 10-day injured list Saturday because of an elbow problem, while righty Jeurys Familia is expected to come off the IL on Sunday. In the meantime, the Mets recalled righty Eric Hanhold from Triple-A Syracuse.
Wilson’s IL placement is already the second of the season for the 31-year-old, who went down April 26 with elbow soreness and is now back on the shelf almost immediately after returning from that issue. Wilson came back May 6, gave up two earned runs on three hits in an inning of work and hasn’t pitched since.
Normally a competent reliever, Wilson hasn’t yet given the Mets the type of production they were hoping for when they signed the ex-Pirate, Yankee, Tiger and Cub to a two-year, $10MM contract in free agency. Over 10 appearances and 9 1/3 innings, Wilson has yielded five earned runs on six hits – including two homers – and seen his strikeout rate drop precipitously.
As with the Wilson pickup, the Familia signing was one of a few headline-grabbing bullpen additions general manager Brodie Van Wagenen during his first winter on the job. Familia got an even richer pact, a three-year, $30MM deal, but has also fallen flat thus far. Now in his second stint with the Mets, the 29-year-old Familia logged a 6.26 ERA/5.98 FIP with 9.42 K/9, an untenable 8.16 BB/9 and a career-worst 18.2 percent HR-to-fly ball rate 14 1/3 innings before going to the IL. Familia’s velocity dropped at an alarming degree along the way, likely because he was trying to pitch through a Bennett lesion – which Thosar notes is “equivalent to a bone spur.”
While it’s unclear when Wilson will return to the Mets’ bullpen, they’ll need the vintage version of Familia immediately. New York’s relief corps looked like a strength coming into the season, but it has since stumbled to the majors’ seventh-worst walk rate and eighth-highest ERA amid the club’s uninspiring start.