Join the Mets, and face the wrath of the franchise’s injury bug.
Lefthander Tommy Milone, who the Mets claimed off waivers earlier this month, was placed on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday with a sprained left knee. The move is retroactive to Monday.
Once again, the Mets starting rotation is in flux. Milone was scheduled to start Saturday’s contest at the Pirates, but now the Mets will be forced to use another spot starter.
Lefthander Josh Smoker is the likely candidate to pitch in place of Milone Saturday. Smoker was optioned to Triple-A on May 9. He then re-joined the big-league squad on Tuesday, as struggling righthander Hansel Robles was demoted.
Smoker made two starts for Las Vegas during his two-week stint at Triple-A. He lasted 4.2 innings May 13 and didn’t allow a run while striking out three. Five days later, he allowed one earned run over four innings and struck out five.
Smoker pitched an inning in Wednesday night’s 6-5 loss to the Padres, surrendering the game-winning home run to Hunter Renfroe. Smoker said after the game he will still be physically ready to start Saturday if called upon. His outing Wednesday will act as a bullpen.
“I’m not 100 percent sure what’s going to happen Saturday,” Smoker said. “But if (I’m asked to start), I’ll be good to go.”
Righthander Rafael Montero is another option to start Saturday, but his 8.10 ERA and a disastrous performance in his only start of 2017 — five runs in 3.2 innings — should give the Mets pause.
Righthander Tyler Pill has pitched to a 1.96 ERA in seven starts for Las Vegas since earning a promotion in late April. But the Mets question whether the 26-year-old has the stuff to get outs in the major leagues.
BACK TO NEW YORK
The Mets activated Travis d’Arnaud (bruised right wrist) off the 10-day DL before Wednesday’s loss the Padres. Rene Rivera still started behind the plate.
D’Arnaud said he stopped feeling pain in the wrist after about 10 days of no physical activity. He played in six rehab games before returning.
“I feel 100 percent,” said d’Arnuad, who pinch hit in the sixth inning Wednesday and flied out to right field. “Glad to be back with the boys.”
BRUCE TAKING IT SLOW
Jay Bruce (back tightness) was out of the Mets’ lineup Wednesday night. The outfielder left Tuesday night’s win over the Padres after the fifth inning.
Bruce downplayed the severity of the injury in the clubhouse Wednesday afternoon. He expects to return to the field for Thursday’s series finale against San Diego. Bruce has dealt with back pain in the past. He said the Mets’ off day on Monday could have led to his back tightening.
“I think you can ask everyone in here and they have some type of little nagging injury from time to time. So that’s kind of what this is,” Bruce said. “It could have been the off day. Not doing too much. Just one of those things, it kind of just pops up and can’t get it where it needs to be. I don’t think it’s serious, though. We’ll be in good shape.”
In a peculiar turn of events, Terry Collins refused to comment on Bruce’s injury in his pregame press conference, saying he’s “not at liberty to discuss the injury situations.”
OTHER INJURY UPDATES
Asdrubal Cabrera (sprained left thumb) started his rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton on Wednesday. The Rumble Ponies were rained out Tuesday, so they played a double-header Wednesday. Both games lasted seven innings.
Cabrera started a shortstop for both legs. He went 2-for-5 with two singles in the two contests.
The Mets still don’t have a date for when Yoenis Cespedes (hamstring) will begin his rehab assignment.