The New York Mets announced their next round of roster cuts ahead of today’s game with the Houston Astros. The team has optioned Corey Oswalt and Walker Lockett to minor league camp, which leaves them with 49 players remaining at the big league camp.
Both Oswalt and Lockett figured to begin the season with Triple-A Syracuse and will serve as starting pitching depth should any injury befall their starters. Oswalt has been been pretty effective so far this spring, allowing just one earned run on four hits while striking out seven in 5.1 innings. He last pitched in the ninth inning of yesterday’s win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Things have not been as positive for the 24-year-old Lockett, who has been roughed up for five earned runs on six hits in 6.2 innings this spring. He has also struck out seven.
The Mets will also be without Drew Smith for the foreseeable future. Smith was sent back to New York yesterday to be evaluated by team doctors after experiencing some soreness in his right elbow. The 25-year-old right-hander was fighting for one of the final spots in the team’s bullpen after he posted a 3.54 ERA, 3.66 FIP, 15% strikeout rate and 5% walk rate in 28 innings last season. This spring, he’s allowed two unearned runs but has given up eight hits and three walks in four innings.
The injury news isn’t all bad for the Mets. Newsday’s Tim Healey reported this morning that Todd Frazier has begun running, played catch, and took grounders, which represents a big step in his comeback from his oblique strain injury. Frazier has not played in a game so far this spring, and his status for Opening Day remains questionable. However, Healey noted that Frazier “is pleased” after today’s developments. The team has not provided an updated on the injured Jed Lowrie.