The Mets announced that they’ve placed right-hander Seth Lugo on the 10-day injured list due to tendinitis in his right shoulder and selected the contract of southpaw Hector Santiago to take his spot on the active roster. They’ll need to make a corresponding 40-man roster move, although that could be accomplished by simply shifting Jed Lowrie from the 10-day injured list to the 60-day injured list, as Lowrie has already missed nearly a full 60 days.
There’s no timetable for how long Lugo is expected to miss. The right-hander himself told reporters that the plan is to rest for a few days, adding that he’s hopeful this can be a relatively short absence (Twitter link, with video, via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com). The discomfort in his shoulder began in his most recent outing and is only something he feels when pitching, per Lugo.
It’ll be another hit to the Mets’ pitching staff, as Lugo has arguably been their best setup reliever, pitching to a 3.12 ERA with 11.8 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 1.04 HR/9 and a 43.9 percent ground-ball rate in 26 innings so far in 2019. Only fellow righty Robert Gsellman, the team’s other top setup option, has logged more innings (27 1/3) out of the bullpen so far.
Meanwhile, free-agent signee Jeurys Familia, brought back to solidify the team’s late-inning mix, has struggled and already spent a bit of time on the IL himself. With Lugo sidelined for at least 10 days, Familia will have to take on a larger role. To his credit, however, Familia has tossed a pair of shutout innings since returning from that short stay on the injured list.
As for Santiago, he’ll join the club after logging a 3.35 ERA in 43 innings of Triple-A ball (seven starts, one relief outing). Solid as that number appears, Santiago is toting an unsightly 38-to-23 K/BB ratio in that time and has benefited from a .235 average on balls in play while pitching for Syracuse. Santiago struggled with similar control issues for the White Sox last year when he averaged 5.3 BB/9 over 102 innings, en route to a 4.41 ERA.
Although Santiago has been starting in the minors, he won’t get the ball for tonight’s game. That nod will go to Wilmer Font, the team announced an hour ago. The Mets had originally indicated that Drew Gagnon would start tonight, but they announced earlier this morning that Gagnon wouldn’t take the ball to open the game after all.