3:24PM: Smith has a strained lat muscle, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports (Twitter link).
2:31PM: Mets right-hander Drew Smith is heading to the 15-day injured list due to “an unspecified arm issue,” according to The Athletic’s Tim Britton and Ken Rosenthal. The move is expected to be announced prior to Friday’s game, and will likely be retroactive to July 25 (Smith last pitched on the 24th).
Since making his MLB debut in 2018, Smith has been a generally solid reliever out of New York’s bullpen, and this season the righty has a 3.51 ERA and a strong 28.1% strikeout rate over 41 innings. Smith has been allowing a lot of hard contact, however, and his numbers have taken a downturn over the last month. Smith has a tiny 1.99 ERA through his first 29 games and 31 2/3 appearances, but he has allowed at least one run in six of his last eight appearances, resulting in an 8.68 ERA in that stretch. Home runs have continued to be a problem for Smith, as he has allowed eight long balls over his 41 IP.
It isn’t yet known if this is a relatively minor injury, or something that could threaten the remainder of Smith’s 2022 season. But even if Smith were to just miss the 15-day minimum, that won’t stop the Mets from aggressively seeking bullpen help, as Britton and Rosenthal write that “the Mets are trying to add multiple relievers.”
Bolstered by Edwin Diaz’s spectacular year, New York’s bullpen has good overall numbers, with Smith, Adam Ottavino, and Seth Lugo all covering high-leverage innings to get to Diaz in the ninth. The Mets are short on left-handed relievers in particular, so southpaws (or at least a righty who is effective against left-handed batters, a la trade target David Robertson) would seem to be at the top of the Amazins’ wish list. Some help could also come from within, as Trevor May is expected back from the IL next week.