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Mets call up Josh Smoker, send Josh Edgin down to Triple-A

The exchange of lefties will hopefully give New York’s bullpen a boost

St Louis Cardinals v New York Mets Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Early on Friday morning following their 10-7 loss to San Francisco, the Mets announced a roster move for the bullpen. Josh Smoker will be coming over from Triple-A Las Vegas while fellow lefty Josh Edgin will be demoted back to the minor league club.

The exchange of Joshes has got to be disappointing for Edgin, who hasn’t gotten a lot of time to prove himself following his call-up to the big leagues on August 2. Since then, he’s made just five relief appearances. In four of those, he left without allowing a run, but on August 17 he had a disastrous outing with four runs allowed in a single inning at Arizona.

Smoker came into the season ranked as the Mets’ No. 20 prospect, and he’s lived up to expectations with Las Vegas. In 57 innings pitched, he has 81 strikeouts and 18 walks with a 4.11 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. With only five home runs allowed in 2016, it looks like Smoker’s ERA and WHIP could use some serious regression. Sure enough, opponents have a ridiculous .409 BABIP against him, which is super high, even for Las Vegas. The Mets are counting on Smoker having more luck in the big leagues if he continues to strike out 12.79 hitters per nine innings.

Here’s what we had to say about Smoker back in January:

A first-round pick of the Nationals in 2007, Josh Smoker resurfaced with the Mets this season after shoulder injuries relegated him to independent leagues in 2014. Smoker was acquired towards the end of spring training and assigned to Low-A Savannah but quickly rose through the system on the back of a mid-to-high 90s fastball that allowed him to strike out 60 batters in just 49 innings coming out of the bullpen. His changeup is his primary secondary offering, but he'll also throw a splitter and an occasional slider. Smoker has the most fastball velocity of any healthy pitcher currently in the system. It's 95-98 from the left side, so there's a good chance he pitches in the majors this season as a lefty-one-out-guy at the very least, with a chance to be more than that. If you want to make the top 20 as a reliever, it helps to have a high-90s fastball.

The 27-year-old southpaw was already called up once this year, but that was as part of the expanded doubleheader roster that the Mets needed last month. This time around, Smoker has a much stronger chance to make his first major league appearance.