Edgin still has hurdles to clear before return

Mets reliever likely to be optioned to Las Vegas to continue rehab

May 6th, 2016
Josh Edgin underwent Tommy John surgery in March 2015. (AP)

SAN DIEGO -- Though Mets reliever Josh Edgin is nearing the end of his Minor League rehab stint, significant obstacles stand between him and a big league return.

Chief among them is Edgin's velocity, which topped out around 88 mph in his latest rehab outing Wednesday with Triple-A Las Vegas. Edgin, who averaged around 92-93 mph with his fastball before undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2015, also must demonstrate that he can pitch on consecutive days before the Mets will promote him to the Majors. Edgin posted a 1.32 ERA during his last taste of big league ball as the Mets' primary lefty specialist in 2014.

"One thing we've got to make sure is that he's got confidence that his arm's OK," manager Terry Collins said. "Like they all do coming back from that surgery, they don't want to rush too fast and hurt themselves again, but we've got to get his velocity up a bit."

Even if Edgin can check all those boxes before his 30-day rehab window expires Monday, he is unlikely to return to the big league roster at that time. Simply put, there is no space for him; the Mets entered Thursday's play ranked third in the National League in bullpen ERA, and fourth in OPS against their relievers. Edgin is not going to supplant Jerry Blevins, the Mets' primary left-handed specialist, nor will he take the spot of Antonio Bastardo, their other bullpen lefty. Both own decent ERAs and guaranteed contracts.

So barring an injury to a reliever this weekend, the Mets will almost certainly option Edgin to Las Vegas when his rehab window expires, giving him more time to round into shape at his own pace.

• Travis d'Arnaud, whom the Mets placed on the disabled list April 26, has been taking batting practice at the team's Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., but still has not begun throwing. He is unlikely to be ready to come off the disabled list when eligible on Wednesday.