The Mets announced a series of roster moves this morning, including the news that right-hander Jared Hughes has been activated from the injured list. Righty Franklyn Kilome was optioned to the minor league training site to make 30-man roster room for Hughes. Also of note is the news that infielder Jed Lowrie has been moved from the 10-day IL to the 45-day IL.
Hughes is making his way back from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis that involved about 10 days of symptoms and kept the veteran reliever sidelined for much of the Mets’ Summer Camp. Hughes signed a Major League contract with New York at the end of June that will pay him roughly $260K (the prorated portion of a $700K deal) over the 2020 season. The groundball specialist is coming off a season that saw him post a 4.04 ERA over 71 1/3 combined innings for the Reds and Phillies, as a 1.6 HR/9 (more than twice his previous career average) contributed to that higher than usual ERA.
From 2014-18, Hughes was quietly one of baseball’s most durable and effective relievers, with a 2.41 ERA, 1.99 K/BB rate, and 5.8 K/9 over 329 innings with the Pirates, Brewers, and Reds. Anything close to that type of production would be an enormous boost to a Mets bullpen that has been inconsistent in the early going.
An official designation of left knee discomfort sent Lowrie to the injured list back on July 20, though GM Brodie Van Wagenen recently revealed that Lowrie was dealing with PCL laxity. A wide variety of leg problems (including a sprained left knee capsule and a right calf strain) kept Lowrie out of action for all but nine games of the 2019 season, and today’s news would hint that he is unlikely to play at all in 2020.
Lowrie signed a two-year, $20MM deal in the 2018-19 offseason that stands as a near-total bust of a signing. In the Mets’ defense, $20MM isn’t an exorbitant amount for an infielder who had posted very strong numbers with the A’s in 2017-18 (37 homers and a .272/.356/.448 slash line over 1325 plate appearances). Lowrie also played in 310 games over those two seasons, so while he had a lengthy injury history in previous years and 2019 was his age-35 season, it was still hard to imagine that Lowrie wouldn’t be able to contribute whatsoever.