Gsellman, Familia to IL; Alonso's ASG push

June 22nd, 2021

NEW YORK -- Until recently, the Mets’ bullpen had remained remarkably healthy, offering the team reliability in the face of significant injury issues in the lineup and rotation.

That changed Monday, when the Mets lost both and to injuries. Gsellman landed on the injured list with what a source said is a torn right last muscle, which will prevent him from throwing a baseball for six to eight weeks. Familia went on the IL between games of a doubleheader due to a right hip impingement.

Just that quickly, the Mets lost a quarter of their Opening Day bullpen. Gsellman had last pitched on Saturday, making his first start of the season as an opener during Game 2 of the Mets’ doubleheader in Washington. He allowed one run in two innings to raise his ERA to 3.71, in what was his first outing in 11 days.

“My biggest challenge was probably just having a week off, not being in the games,” Gsellman said after that outing, without mentioning any injury concerns. “But I felt good.”

The Mets have used Gsellman mostly as a long reliever this season, most recently pushing him to season highs of 3 2/3 innings and 43 pitches in a June 2 win in Arizona. Gsellman stretched out as a starter last year without much success, producing an 8.68 ERA in four starts before the Mets shifted him back to the bullpen.

This is not his first brush with a lat injury, as Gsellman partially tore his right lat in August 2019, missing the final six weeks of that season. He also missed much of last season due to right triceps tendinitis. Combined, Gsellman has pitched just 40 2/3 innings since his initial lat injury in 2019. An MRI administered Monday revealed the tear.

Gsellman’s IL stint did allow the Mets to defer a more difficult decision with second baseman Jeff McNeil returning from the injured list. The Mets simply swapped McNeil off the IL and placed Gsellman on it prior to Monday’s doubleheader at Citi Field.

To replace Familia, the Mets recalled reliever Yenssy Díaz from Triple-A Syracuse. Manager Luis Rojas said that Familia had been “trying to pitch through” his hip injury before alerting team officials to it on Monday.

“His arm is in such good shape and his stuff is crisp,” Rojas said, “so let’s see if he can get this right and we’ll see him in 10 days or so.”

Seeking support

Mets position players remain far from the leaders in National League All-Star voting, according to the latest ballot update released Monday. The highest-ranked Met is , who sits sixth among NL first basemen. But Alonso is 616,907 votes behind leader Max Muncy of the Dodgers and, more pertinently, 297,480 votes behind third-ranked Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs. Only the top three vote-getters at each position (top nine outfielders) will advance to the second phase of fan balloting.

To that end, the Mets have launched a media campaign in support of Alonso, featuring him wearing jean shorts while working out with fictional hitting coach “Donnie Stevenson.”

Also of note, Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor is in seventh place in the balloting, 234,702 votes behind third-ranked Corey Seager of the Dodgers.

The Mets will likely have multiple All-Stars on this year’s team in Denver, but they may all be pitchers. Jacob deGrom, Taijuan Walker, Marcus Stroman and Edwin Díaz are all strong candidates to represent the organization.