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May 20, 2019

Jason Vargas, struggling Mets pitcher, heads to disabled list after hurting himself during conditioning; more notes

June 24, 2018

The Mets suffered a demoralizing 8-3 loss to the Dodgers Saturday night at Citi Field, a fifth straight defeat punctuated by Matt Kemp’s eighth-inning grand slam.

And then, in typical Metsian fashion, things somehow got worse.

Lefthander Jason Vargas is headed to the 10-day disabled list because of a strained calf he sustained while “conditioning” earlier this week, manager Mickey Callaway announced at his postgame news conference.

Vargas was scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale against L.A. in Flushing. Callaway said he will wait until Sunday morning to decide on who will start instead of Vargas, who also missed the first month of the season after breaking his glove hand in a spring training game.

Righthander Chris Flexen will replace Vargas on the active roster.

“Right now, we haven’t named a starter. We going to figure that out in the morning when guys come in and see how everybody’s feeling,” Callaway said.

DENVER, CO – JUNE 19: Jason Vargas #40 of the New York Mets reacts after allowing the second of three consecutive homers to Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 19, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) (Dustin Bradford / Getty Images)

“We’re going to see when guys come in and play catch,” the manager added. “Our bullpen’s obviously thrown some innings, and we’re going to see how everybody’s feeling when they come in tomorrow and make that decision then.”

Flexen last appeared for the Mets on Thursday in Denver, retiring the lone batter he faced in a 6-4 loss to the Rockies. His only other major-league outing this season came on May 26, when he allowed seven runs — three earned — on eight hits and three walks in two innings at the Brewers. The Mets lost the game 17-6.

Flexen started and threw five innings for Triple-A Las Vegas on June 16, his most recent appearance in the minors. Before then, he threw seven innings on June 10. So he’s presumably stretched out enough to start for the Mets Sunday.


Reliever Hansel Robles was claimed off waivers by the Angels on Saturday, a day after the Mets designated the righthander for assignment.

Robles was assigned to the Angel’s Triple-A affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah. The 27-year-old finishes his four-year Mets stint with a 4.07 ERA in 208 major-league innings.


Jose Bautista has been a bright spot in the Mets lineup despite latest team woes.
Jose Bautista has been a bright spot in the Mets lineup despite latest team woes. (Frank Franklin II / AP)

Jose Bautista continues to swing one the Mets’ hottest bats. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a home run in Saturday’s loss. Bautista also homered Friday night.

He’s reached base safely in each of his last nine games, compiling a .615 on-base percentage during that stretch. He’s walked 10 times in his last 26 plate appearances and owns a .455 OBP in 29 games with the Mets this season.

“I’m making strides in the right direction, and I feel like I’m having good at-bats,” Bautista said. “I just want to maintain the consistency, so that’s what I’m hoping for.”


Robert Gsellman has hit another rough patch. The righthander allowed five runs in the eighth inning Saturday night, including Kemp’s grand slam. He’s now allowed eight earned runs in three innings over his last two appearances — he also allowed three runs against the Rockies Wednesday. His ERA has ballooned from 2.79 to 4.20.

“Just up in the zone a little bit,” Callaway said of Gsellman’s recent struggles. “He’s a guy that relies on his sinker, and he’s not getting his sinker down where he needs to get to get the ground ball.”


The Mets signed three of their draft picks: fourth-round RHP Adam Hills out of South Carolina; fifth-round RHP Ryley Gilliam out of Clemson; and 14th-round LHP Andrew Mitchell out of Auburn. The Mets have now agreed to deals with 14 of their top 17 picks. …Righthander Drew Smith threw a scoreless ninth inning in his major-league debut Saturday night.

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