Injuries & Moves: Bullpen updates on Houser, Smith

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LATEST NEWS

May 26: RHP Adrian Houser moved to bullpen
With David Peterson (recovery from left hip surgery) set to come off the injured list and make his season debut Wednesday against the Dodgers, the Mets moved Houser to the bullpen. He immediately contributed in that role, allowing one run over four innings in relief of Sean Manaea on Sunday.

Houser had struggled in the rotation, going 0-4 with an 8.55 ERA over seven starts, though he did flash significantly improved velocity -- up to 95 mph -- in his last outing against the Guardians. He appeared in two games out of the bullpen earlier this month but returned to the rotation for one final start as the Mets waited for some of their other pitchers to grow healthier.

Now, with Tylor Megill already reestablished in the rotation and Peterson set to make his season debut, the Mets had no space for Houser to keep starting games. The team will continue using a six-man rotation at least through June 5, at which point a series of off-days could shake things up again.

10-DAY/15-DAY INJURED LIST

RHP (right shoulder soreness)
Expected return:
June 2 or 3
Smith, who began experiencing shoulder tightness during his big league outings in late April, made two rehab appearances for Triple-A Syracuse early in May but felt a "pinch" in the back of his shoulder as he was preparing to come off the IL on May 14. The Mets never considered the setback serious, and Smith resumed a rehab assignment with a perfect inning for High-A Brooklyn May 26. He expects to make two more appearances for Syracuse on May 29 and 31 and return after a day or two of rest. (Last updated: May 27)

C (torn ligament in left thumb)
Expected return: Late June
Alvarez, who tore a ligament in his left thumb in an April 19 game against the Dodgers, took batting practice on May 25 and didn’t have any problems after taking 22 swings in the cage.

Although he was wearing a splint, Alvarez was hitting almost nothing but line drives and hit at least one ball over the fence. After the session was over, Alvarez said he “felt like a baseball player.” He didn’t rule out using the splint once he is activated from the injured list.

Before going on a rehab assignment, Alvarez still has to take swings against the velocity machine, catch bullpens and take live batting practice from a pitcher. He remains on track to return by late June, or perhaps a tad earlier if all continues to go well.

For as long as Alvarez remains sidelined, Omar Narváez and Tomás Nido will continue to split duties behind the plate. (Last updated: May 26)

LHP Brooks Raley (left UCL strain)
Expected return: 2025
Raley, a heavily used reliever who was having trouble recovering between outings in mid-April, learned during a May 15 visit to orthopedic surgeon Dr. Keith Meister that he had suffered damage to the UCL in his left elbow. He subsequently decided to undergo elbow surgery that will almost certainly end his season.

Because of a clause in Raley's contract, he is eligible to become a free agent in November despite having fewer than six years of service time. As such, he may have already thrown his final pitch with the Mets. (Last updated: May 21)

RHP (right shoulder strain)
Expected return: TBD
Sidelined at Triple-A Syracuse since early May, Fujinami was recalled and placed on the 15-day IL on May 13. The procedural move will allow the Mets to place Fujinami on the 60-day IL and remove him from the 40-man roster should that become necessary. But it might not. Although the Mets are still seeking clarity on Fujinami's injury, they don't believe he will require surgery. (Last updated: May 16)

INF/OF Jett Williams (right wrist soreness; No. 1 on Mets Top 30 Prospects list)
Toward the end of April, Williams began dealing with a bout of right wrist soreness, which has kept him off the field since April 21 and landed him on the 7-day Minor League IL. To treat it, Williams received a cortisone injection in early May, according to Mets senior vice president of player development Andy Green. Once that heals, he will begin swinging a bat in hopes of returning to games by the end of this month. (Last updated: May 15)

OF Drew Gilbert (right hamstring strain; No. 2 on Mets Top 30 Prospects list)
Gilbert, the top prospect the Mets acquired from the Astros in the Justin Verlander trade last summer, hasn’t played since straining his right hamstring in the second game of an April 6 doubleheader for Triple-A Syracuse. He is on the 7-day Minor League IL, and per Mets senior vice president of player development Andy Green, is still in the “strengthening phase” of his recovery process. His timeline to return will depend in large part upon how well he responds to his running progression, but the Mets are hopeful he’ll be ready toward the end of May or beginning of June. (Last updated: May 15)

60-DAY INJURED LIST

RHP Kodai Senga (right posterior shoulder capsule strain)
Expected return: Possibly July
Senga, who had advanced to throwing live batting practice in late April before moving backward in his progression, suffered another setback when he cancelled his May 19 bullpen session due to triceps tightness. Five days later, Senga was still feeling enough discomfort to go for another MRI, which revealed nerve inflammation in his right triceps area. He won't resume playing catch until May 29.

The Mets are allowing Senga to dictate his rehab schedule without pushing him. Before his latest setback, Senga said he wanted to work his mechanics into top form before stretching out as a starter. The process has been not only deliberate, but also slowed by multiple physical setbacks. Given how much time Senga has taken between mound sessions thus far, even a June return at this point appears unlikely. His exact timeline will remain murky until he begins a Minor League rehab assignment, which won't happen until well into June. (Last updated: May 27)

LHP David Peterson (recovery from left hip surgery)
Expected return: May 29
Peterson underwent surgery Nov. 6 to repair a torn labrum in his left hip, an injury that had been bothering him for years. He has since made steady progress, producing a 1.14 ERA with 35 strikeouts and three walks over 23 2/3 innings on a Minor League rehab assignment. Peterson will make his big league debut May 29 against the Dodgers. (Last updated: May 26)

INF (recovery from right knee surgery)
Expected return: Possibly September
Mauricio underwent surgery in early January to repair a torn ACL in his right knee, which he injured during winter ball in the Dominican Republic. A typical return timetable for that operation is eight to 12 months, giving Mauricio an outside chance to rejoin the Mets in September. If not, he'll return in 2025.

The club transferred him to the 60-day IL at the start of Spring Training. (Last updated: Feb. 14)