Following their walloping of the Nationals in a spring training game this afternoon, the Mets reassigned left-handed relief pitcher Scott Rice to minor league camp. As mentioned in the Make-the-Mets-o-Meter earlier today, Rice was one of several left-handed pitchers vying for a spot in the team's Opening Day bullpen.
In Grapefruit League play, Rice had a 9.64 ERA in seven appearances totaling four-and-two-thirds innings. He struck out two and walked two over that span. Last year, Rice struggled to the tune of a 5.93 ERA and 5.03 FIP in 13.2 innings over 32 appearances for the Mets. His season then ended when he underwent surgery to remove a bone spur in his left elbow.
With that, the Mets still have several left-handed relief pitchers who might make the Opening Day bullpen: Dario Alvarez, Duane Below, Sean Gilmartin, and Chase Huchingson. Below and Huchingson are in minor league camp but have gotten some looks in major league games. And the lack of a sure-thing lefty comes as a result of Josh Edgin's Tommy John surgery, which will keep him out until at least the beginning of next season. The Mets are also said to be interested in acquiring a left-handed relief pitcher as spring training winds down and other teams have to whittle down their own rosters.