The New York Mets have placed Jason Vargas on the disabled list with a strained calf. The team has called up Chris Flexen to take his place on the roster, though they have yet to announce a starting pitcher for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
According to David Lennon, Vargas suffered the injury during conditioning drills. This marks his second stint on the disabled list in 2018, after he missed the first month with a non-displaced fracture in his non-throwing hand.
Vargas has had a disastrous season after signing a two-year deal with the club in February. He has allowed 36 earned runs in 37-and-two-thirds innings (good for an 8.60 ERA) to go along with a 6.55 FIP and a 1.83 WHIP. Among starters with at least 30 innings pitched, Vargas has the second-highest HR/9 (2.63). After three straight encouraging outings, he allowed seven earned runs in just two-and-one-third innings in his last appearance at Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies on June 19.
Despite this being Flexen’s third promotion in 2018, he has pitched just two-and-one-third innings at the major league level this year. He allowed seven runs (three earned) on eight hits in two innings pitched in relief against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 26 and retired the only batter he faced on June 21 against the Rockies. He was sent back to the minors on June 22.
In Triple-A this year as a starter, Flexen has allowed 83 hits and 35 earned runs in 58 innings pitched. His last start came on June 16, when he allowed five runs in five innings. He has a 5.43 ERA, a 4.72 FIP, and a 1.76 WHIP for the Las Vegas 51s this season.