7:20 pm: Conforto’s absence is indeed related to contact tracing protocols at Syracuse, the club announced. He has tested negative for COVID-19 and is expected to be reinstated in advance of tomorrow evening’s game against the Braves.
5:17 pm: The Mets announced they’ve claimed right-hander Robert Stock off waivers from the Cubs. He’s been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse. Infielder Brandon Drury was also optioned, while catcher Patrick Mazeika was recalled.
Chicago just selected Stock to the big league roster last week. Generally a reliever, he made a four-inning spot start last Wednesday that ironically came against his new team. The 31-year-old allowed five runs on six walks while only striking out three, but the Mets were evidently intrigued by their then-opponent. After the Cubs designated him for assignment last weekend, New York put in a claim.
Stock has pitched to a 4.12 ERA with very strong strikeout and walk rates (30.5% and 4.9%, respectively) in Triple-A this year. He can be optioned for the rest of this season, so he’ll offer the Mets a flexible depth piece on the pitching staff.
Notably, the Mets did not reinstate outfielder Michael Conforto from the IL today. General manager Zack Scott told reporters (including Anthony DiComo of MLB.com) earlier in the day that the All-Star outfielder would return tonight. Notably, the Syracuse Mets, where Conforto had been on a rehab assignment, have since announced they’re dealing with a COVID-19 situation. It’s not clear if Conforto not being reinstated is related in any way.