The Mets were required to make some roster moves today to account for Jacob deGrom’s return from the IL and Jacob Rhame’s two-game suspension for supposedly intentionally throwing at Rhys Hoskins this past Tuesday. The team announced those moves this evening, as deGrom has officially been restored to the 25-man roster in anticipation of his start against the Milwaukee Brewers. Joining him in his return is Corey Oswalt, who has been recalled from Syracuse and will be placed back in the Mets’ bullpen. Rhame, meanwhile, has been optioned down to Triple A along with backup shortstop Luis Guillorme to open up the two roster spots for deGrom and Oswalt.
The hope was that deGrom’s IL trip would be a short one, and that thankfully wound up being the case. Some MRI drama made the trip seem even longer than it actually was, but last year’s National League Cy Young winner will end up having missed only a single start as a result of discomfort in his right elbow. Given the starting pitching troubles that the Mets have experienced this month, the team will be relying on deGrom to resume his dominance after two consecutive poor starts prior to being placed on the IL.
Meanwhile, the team also reconfigured the bullpen a bit with the return of Oswalt as a long-man. He did not impress in his one major league appearance so far in 2019, as he gave up 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks with just 2 strikeouts in 3.2 innings. He has looked okay in his two Triple A starts, however, as he’s put up a 3.55 ERA with 11 strikeouts and 2 walks in 12.2 innings over two starts. Additionally, his ability to pitch multiple innings could be especially helpful to the Mets as long as they continue to pitch Jason Vargas once every fifth day.
It is hard to say that the two departing players will be missed all that much, as neither one has impressed in their limited major league time up to this point. Rhame’s three appearances so far this season, for instance, have been pretty dreadful, as he’s put up an 8.10 ERA with 5 walks in 3.2 innings. Because he is being sent down prior to serving his suspension, he would have to serve it if he were to be recalled to the majors (assuming the suspension is upheld). But seeing how Rhame has now pitched in 42 major league games and shown very little over that stretch of time (as his 6.65 career ERA will indicate), the Mets may be better served by leaving him in the minors for an extended stretch.
Guillorme, meanwhile, returns to Syracuse after having just been recalled from there earlier this week. He has not played much during his stints with the Mets so far this season, and his performance when he has gotten into games has been far from impressive, as his paltry 7 wRC+ in 19 plate appearances will testify. But he has also served as the team’s only legitimate backup at shortstop, leaving them in a precarious position should Amed Rosario find himself unable to play at some point. If that happens, the Mets may find themselves forced to play Jeff McNeil or Todd Frazier at shortstop for a brief period of time, the sight of which may be enough to make the team pine for Guillorme’s return.