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Matz expected to miss 1 start; Oswalt recalled

Mets opt to play it safe with left-hander's forearm strain
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Without much reason to push Steven Matz through a bout of forearm discomfort, the Mets on Friday made the obvious move, placing Matz on the disabled list with a flexor-pronator strain. They expect him to miss only one start.

"There's no reason to push him through at this point," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "In a different scenario, we could. But it doesn't make much sense right now. So we'll give him a little bit of a breather and have him come back ready to go and finish strong."

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NEW YORK -- Without much reason to push Steven Matz through a bout of forearm discomfort, the Mets on Friday made the obvious move, placing Matz on the disabled list with a flexor-pronator strain. They expect him to miss only one start.

"There's no reason to push him through at this point," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "In a different scenario, we could. But it doesn't make much sense right now. So we'll give him a little bit of a breather and have him come back ready to go and finish strong."

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To replace Matz on the active roster, the Mets recalled right-hander Corey Oswalt, who will start Sunday, from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Adding a bit more clarity to his injury situation, Matz said he felt a bit of forearm discomfort as far back as July 26, when he pitched in Pittsburgh. The sensation returned on Tuesday at Washington when Matz gave up seven runs in two-thirds of an inning, complaining afterward of forearm tightness. But he never considered it a major issue.

"That's why I went out and pitched," said Matz, who has undergone three elbow surgeries, including Tommy John, since the Mets drafted him in 2009. "Stuff comes up during the season. It's part of what we do. We're throwing a baseball as hard as we can. Stuff comes up, and it's just figuring out, 'OK, is this something I've got to be worried about? Or is this something I can gut through?'"

Were the Mets in contention, Matz might have been able to gut through Sunday against the Braves. But with little at stake over the season's final two months, the team decided to give him a 10-day break.

"We have the time right now," said Matz, who is 5-9 with a 4.35 ERA in 21 starts. "Just to miss one start is not the end of the world."

The DL stint gives the Mets another chance to see Oswalt, the Mets' No. 15 prospect who went 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four July starts. Oswalt will be on an extra day of rest after last pitching Monday in Las Vegas.

Video: SD@NYM: Oswalt picks up his 1st MLB win

Playing time machinations
Despite the Mets' assertion that they want to use their young players as much as possible down the stretch, Callaway wrote out Friday's lineup with three 30-somethings who are unlikely to be a part of next year's team -- Jose Bautista, Austin Jackson and Jose Reyes -- in starting roles.

Of most intrigue was the addition of Reyes, who played second base over rookie Jeff McNeil. Callaway said that was due to McNeil needing regular rest after missing most of the past two seasons because of injury.

"One of the challenges with McNeil is he's going to start getting tired, and he's gotten tired throughout the season a little bit because he hasn't played a lot in the last two years," Callaway said, adding that McNeil will start most days down the stretch. "We knew when we called him up that he's going to need some days off."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Steven Matz, Corey Oswalt

Mets land Phils prospect Kilome for Cabrera

MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Mets traded veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to the Phillies on Friday for Double-A right-hander Franklyn Kilome.

Kilome has made 19 starts for Reading in 2018, recording 83 strikeouts to counter 51 walks while accumulating a 4.24 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over 102 innings. The 23-year-old will join the Mets farm system that landed four prospects on MLB Pipeline's updated Top 100 list on Thursday.

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PITTSBURGH -- The Mets traded veteran infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to the Phillies on Friday for Double-A right-hander Franklyn Kilome.

Kilome has made 19 starts for Reading in 2018, recording 83 strikeouts to counter 51 walks while accumulating a 4.24 ERA and 1.44 WHIP over 102 innings. The 23-year-old will join the Mets farm system that landed four prospects on MLB Pipeline's updated Top 100 list on Thursday.

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Kilome was signed by the Phillies out of the Dominican Republic in 2013 and was the Phillies' No. 10 prospect. He is now listed as the No. 5 prospect in the Mets organization following the trade.

"He's a little bit raw, but there is a lot of potential there," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told reporters on a conference call on Friday. "We're really excited to bring him to an organization that prides itself on developing pitching talent."

The right-hander stands at 6-foot-6 and has a fastball that reaches the upper-90s, complimented by a curveball that MLB Pipeline states "often flashes plus."

Video: NYM@PIT: Cabrera on trade to Phillies, time with Mets

Cabrera, 32, played one of his best games of the season on Thursday night as he collected three extra-base hits and produced a season-high four RBIs against the Pirates at PNC Park. He appeared in 98 games with the Mets in 2018, slashing .277/.329/.488 with 58 RBIs and 18 home runs. He is set to be a free agent after this season.

"I feel good," Cabrera said when discussing the trade with reporters before Friday night's game, a 5-4 loss. "It's part of the game. I'm really happy because I leave with my head up because I did my best for the Mets."

Cabrera played in 374 games with the Mets over 2 1/2 seasons after signing with the club as a free agent in December 2015. New York will now turn an eye toward the future, as Ricco indicated to reporters that 26-year-old rookie Jeff McNeil will see a lot of time at second base in the wake of the trade.

Video: SD@NYM: McNeil singles on 1st pitch he sees in career

Mason Wittner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Asdrubal Cabrera, Franklyn Kilome

Gimenez among 4 Mets prospects in Top 100

Shortstop ranked No. 60, joined by Alonso, Kelenic, Dunn
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- MLB Pipeline revealed its midseason re-ranking of the overall and club Top Prospects lists, and shortstop Andres Gimenez led a group of four Mets that cracked the Top 100 overall prospects.

Gimenez came in at No. 60 overall while remaining the No. 1 prospect in the Mets organization. The 19-year-old shortstop played in 86 games for Class A Advanced St. Lucie in 2018, slashing .282/.348/.432 with 28 stolen bases to compliment six home runs and 30 RBIs.

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PITTSBURGH -- MLB Pipeline revealed its midseason re-ranking of the overall and club Top Prospects lists, and shortstop Andres Gimenez led a group of four Mets that cracked the Top 100 overall prospects.

Gimenez came in at No. 60 overall while remaining the No. 1 prospect in the Mets organization. The 19-year-old shortstop played in 86 games for Class A Advanced St. Lucie in 2018, slashing .282/.348/.432 with 28 stolen bases to compliment six home runs and 30 RBIs.

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Mets' Top 30 prospects list

Less than a week after representing the Mets in the All-Star Futures Game, Gimenez was promoted to Double-A Binghamton on Sunday.

Joining Gimenez on the Top 100 list are first baseman Peter Alonso (No. 65), 2018 first-round Draft pick outfielder Jarred Kelenic (No. 69) and right-handed pitcher Justin Dunn (No. 100).

Alonso began the year in Binghamton and slugged 15 home runs while posting a .314 batting average over 65 games before being promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas in June. Dunn has been on the rise as well, posting a 2.52 ERA and 1.235 WHIP over 17 combined starts between Class A Advanced St. Lucie and Binghamton.

Syndergaard, Frazier making progress
Noah Syndergaard (hand, foot and mouth disease) worked out on Thursday, and the Mets remain optimistic that the right-hander could return from the disabled list as soon as during next week's two-game set with the Nationals.

Video: NYM@NYY: Syndergaard K's Gardner with nasty pitch

 "He's doing really well," manager Mickey Callaway said. "Had a good workout today. Threw up to 120 feet, no issues. He's in a really good spot. We got to see him yesterday. He looked great, felt good. He's in a good spot, and kind of in line for that Washington series."

Callaway also stated that Todd Frazier, who landed on the disabled list on July 9 with a left rib cage muscle strain, is expected to start his rehab assignment "in the next couple days."

Mason Wittner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

New York Mets, Todd Frazier, Noah Syndergaard

McNeil debuts, records first MLB knock

Club recalls utility man Evans; Kelly designated for assignment
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- For most of this summer, Jeff McNeil waited, waited, waited for a callup that he figured would eventually come. Consistently batting well over .300, McNeil believed if he continued plugging away at the highest levels of the Minors, he would end the year in Flushing.

Prepared though he was, when the call finally came on Monday evening, McNeil scrambled. Watching television at his home in Las Vegas, McNeil stuffed all his belongings in a suitcase. Then he raced to the airport, where he narrowly missed his red-eye flight to New York. He quickly rebooked a slightly later one.

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NEW YORK -- For most of this summer, Jeff McNeil waited, waited, waited for a callup that he figured would eventually come. Consistently batting well over .300, McNeil believed if he continued plugging away at the highest levels of the Minors, he would end the year in Flushing.

Prepared though he was, when the call finally came on Monday evening, McNeil scrambled. Watching television at his home in Las Vegas, McNeil stuffed all his belongings in a suitcase. Then he raced to the airport, where he narrowly missed his red-eye flight to New York. He quickly rebooked a slightly later one.

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Tweet from @AnthonyDiComo: A very happy Jeff McNeil breaks down the circumstances surrounding his call-up to the Mets: pic.twitter.com/w7hwbRND8c

"It was a little stressful," McNeil said, laughing.

The hectic day did not, however, affect McNeil's debut. Entering Tuesday's 6-3 win over the Padres as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, McNeil punched the first pitch he saw into shallow center field for a single. The ball, which he plans to frame and give to his mother, was already on display in his locker after the game.

"It felt amazing," McNeil said. "You always want to get your first hit out of the way. I'll come back tomorrow and try to do the same thing."

He should continue to receive those opportunities. The Mets' roster flux offers a prime chance for McNeil, 26, who went 9-for-28 with a double and five RBIs over his past seven games at Triple-A Las Vegas, hitting safely in all of them. Splitting time this season between Double-A Binghamton and Vegas, the unranked prospect batted .342/.411/.617 with 19 home runs, 71 RBIs and 36 walks in 339 at-bats. He placed among the Eastern League's home run and OPS leaders throughout his time there.

A career .311 hitter in the Minor Leagues, McNeil credited his 2018 surge to being fully healthy for the first time in two years. Now recovered from a sports hernia and a torn hip labrum, which limited him to 51 games the past two seasons, McNeil says he has added enough bulk to turn his doubles into homers.

"I'm having a pretty good year," said McNeil, whose wife, parents and siblings flew in from Santa Barbara, Calif., to watch his debut at Citi Field. "I was swinging the bat well. I was putting together good at-bats. I knew if I did that, I would eventually get a call."

The issue with McNeil is his defense. A natural second baseman, McNeil is blocked at that position by Asdrubal Cabrera, at least until the Mets find a trade partner for the veteran. Instead, McNeil figures to play third base with the Mets -- a position he manned early in his Minor League career, but only recently began revisiting. Manager Mickey Callaway said that McNeil could bounce around the infield, and even the outfield, in Flushing.

"We feel comfortable with him at multiple positions now," Callaway said. "That was kind of a goal of the last couple of weeks, was to kind of hone on a couple more positions, to give us more options."

In addition to McNeil, the Mets called up utility man Phillip Evans from Las Vegas on Tuesday, designating infielder Ty Kelly for assignment. McNeil took the roster spot of injured outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who went on the disabled list.

Evans, 25, made the Mets' Opening Day roster and has already spent two stints in the big leagues this season, going 1-for-9. He was hitting .256/.327/.493 with 14 homers and 39 RBIs in 62 games with Las Vegas, including .325 with two home runs in his last 10 contests. Evans missed a chunk of the Minor League season due to an infection.

Kelly finished 1-for-11 during his brief time with the Mets. He will need to clear waivers if he is to remain in the organization.

Heart and hustle
Outfielder Brandon Nimmo, whose quirks include running to first base on walks and hit-by-pitches, is the Mets' winner of the Major League Baseball Players' Alumni Association's Heart and Hustle Award, given annually to the player from each team who best "demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game." Nimmo will receive his award at Citi Field later this year.

Injury updates
Third baseman Todd Frazier will travel to Florida this week to ramp up his rehab from a left rib cage strain. Frazier could return during the Mets' next road trip, which begins Thursday in Pittsburgh.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Yoenis Cespedes, Phillip Evans

Tebow likely done for '18 with broken right hand

MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Over the first half of this season at Double-A Binghamton, Tim Tebow performed well enough, and for long enough, for a big league promotion to seem plausible. An Eastern League All-Star, Tebow hit .273/.336/.399 in 84 games, adding weight to general manager Sandy Alderson's preseason proclamation that he expected Tebow to make the Majors.

That dream will likely have to wait at least until next season. Tebow broke the hamate bone in his right hand last week, the Mets confirmed, and will undergo surgery on Tuesday. The operation typically carries with it a six- to eight-week recovery, which should take Tebow past the end of the Minor League season.

NEW YORK -- Over the first half of this season at Double-A Binghamton, Tim Tebow performed well enough, and for long enough, for a big league promotion to seem plausible. An Eastern League All-Star, Tebow hit .273/.336/.399 in 84 games, adding weight to general manager Sandy Alderson's preseason proclamation that he expected Tebow to make the Majors.

That dream will likely have to wait at least until next season. Tebow broke the hamate bone in his right hand last week, the Mets confirmed, and will undergo surgery on Tuesday. The operation typically carries with it a six- to eight-week recovery, which should take Tebow past the end of the Minor League season.

"I view this season as a complete positive," assistant general manager John Ricco said. "It's disappointing he's going to miss the last month, but to see a guy in a couple of short years competing at the Double-A level, and thriving [is impressive]. The last couple of months, he's been playing really well. I don't see how that can be anything but a positive."

Tebow, 30, hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games before injuring the hand while swinging a bat last Thursday. He underwent tests the following day and visited a specialist in New York on Monday.

The injury almost certainly ends what had been a breakout season for Tebow, the former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL star who signed with the Mets late in 2016 to pursue a baseball career. Following a 2017 season spent at Class A ball, Tebow spent last offseason revamping his swing with the help of Nationals star Daniel Murphy, Mets hitting coach Pat Roessler and others. He showed up to Spring Training with a slimmer body and a shortened swing, which he used to great benefit at Binghamton.

Demonstrating improvement throughout the season, Tebow hit .226 in April, .241 in May, .301 in June and .340 in July. He went 1-for-4 with a double in the Eastern League All-Star Game.

"I have learned a lot," Tebow said this past month. "I am also continuing to make those adjustments and learning to improve based on the pitchers, series, games, all of that. I think, as a hitter, you have to have a short memory and also continue to be able to learn. I still think that there are a lot of things that I know I will improve on, and can improve on, and I am making those strides every day."

Neither Tebow nor the Mets have indicated how long they expect his baseball experiment to last, though Ricco said the team has no reason to believe Tebow is considering retiring.

"Obviously, the age factor is there and it's tough for him to miss this last month," Ricco said. "But I view this as nothing but a positive. He's really gone out and made great strides."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Mets deal Familia to A's for 2 prospects, int'l cash

New York nets third baseman Toffey, reliever Wahl, $1 million in slot money for closer
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- By the time the Mets reported to Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Jeurys Familia's locker was already empty. They had said their goodbyes the night before, understanding that Familia's departure was a matter of when, not if.

It finally happened during their 7-6 loss to the Yankees. The Mets dealt Familia to the A's for two prospects, third baseman Will Toffey and reliever Bobby Wahl, plus $1 million in international bonus pool money.

NEW YORK -- By the time the Mets reported to Yankee Stadium on Saturday, Jeurys Familia's locker was already empty. They had said their goodbyes the night before, understanding that Familia's departure was a matter of when, not if.

It finally happened during their 7-6 loss to the Yankees. The Mets dealt Familia to the A's for two prospects, third baseman Will Toffey and reliever Bobby Wahl, plus $1 million in international bonus pool money.

"This trade hits three major areas," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said in a statement. "We got a Major League-ready reliever our scouts recommended, a position player who was a high selection from the 2017 Draft and strong prospect in the A's system as well as receiving international bonus pool money to help in the future."

Video: MLB Tonight on Jeurys Familia being traded to the A's

Toffey, 23, was Oakland's 17th-ranked prospect and a fourth-round pick in the 2017 Draft. He was batting .244 with a .741 OPS at the organization's Class A Advanced Stockton affiliate. Upon acquiring Toffey, the Mets immediately promoted him, assigning him to Double-A Binghamton.

"I think very highly of Toffey," Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi said in a statement. "He's got great strike-zone discipline, gap-to-gap power and is a solid defender."

Wahl, 26, made his Major League debut during a brief stint with the A's last summer. Capable of throwing in the upper 90s, he owned a 2.27 ERA in 34 appearances with Triple-A Nashville. Wahl underwent surgery last year to alleviate symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome, but he has responded with 65 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings this season.

Video: CHC@OAK: Wahl gets groundout to complete save

Rather than call Wahl straight up to the big leagues, the Mets assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. A source said the team is recalling Paul Sewald to replace Familia on the active roster.

In addition to the players the Mets acquired in the trade, special assistant Omar Minaya called the international bonus pool money "extremely helpful" for a team that has become increasingly aggressive in that arena in recent years. The Mets also received roughly $3 million in salary relief, as the A's reportedly absorbed the rest of Familia's contract. A day before completing the trade, Ricco said the Mets were willing to take on money to acquire better prospects in deals for Familia, Asdrubal Cabrera and other pending free agents. But they did not do so in this deal.

In Familia's absence, the Mets will likely install Robert Gsellman as their closer, though manager Mickey Callaway said matchups could dictate whom he uses in the ninth. Replacing Familia, who ranked third in team history with 123 saves, will not be easy in any context.

"The A's are lucky to have a quality guy and a quality pitcher like Familia," Callaway said. "He's done a great job for this organization. I know the fans, I know the coaching staff and the players are going to miss him. But I understand it's also necessary at this point to try and strengthen our team in the future. It sounds like we did a pretty good job of that."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook

New York Mets, Jeurys Familia

Mets moving prospect McNeil around diamond

Defensive versatility will accelerate slugging infielder's ascension to Majors
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- About a week ago, on a regular conference call that Mets officials hold with their player development staffers, the idea was floated to move prospect Jeff McNeil around the diamond. A natural second baseman, McNeil spent a bit of time at third base and shortstop earlier this season at Double-A Binghamton. But after a promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas last month, he became entrenched at his old position.

That changed Thursday, when McNeil played third for the first time at Triple-A -- part of an organizational plan that should help McNeil take the final leap to the big leagues in the coming weeks.

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NEW YORK -- About a week ago, on a regular conference call that Mets officials hold with their player development staffers, the idea was floated to move prospect Jeff McNeil around the diamond. A natural second baseman, McNeil spent a bit of time at third base and shortstop earlier this season at Double-A Binghamton. But after a promotion to Triple-A Las Vegas last month, he became entrenched at his old position.

That changed Thursday, when McNeil played third for the first time at Triple-A -- part of an organizational plan that should help McNeil take the final leap to the big leagues in the coming weeks.

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"With the way the season's gone, we have to get him playing some different positions," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "The way his season's gone, his ability to swing the bat, put together good at-bats, he's probably earned the right to have a chance up in the big leagues at some point. For him to have the best possible chance, we think him moving around would be valuable."

Not among the Mets' Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, McNeil is a former 12th-round Draft pick who entered Friday with a .311 batting average over six Minor League seasons. This year, he batted .327 with 14 home runs in 57 games at Binghamton. In 22 games since moving to Las Vegas, McNeil has hit at a .386 clip.

The issue is McNeil's defense, which scouts have criticized as below average throughout his Minor League career. Exposing McNeil to multiple positions, as the Mets did with Wilmer Flores just before he arrived in the Majors, could help make him a more valuable defender. Callaway said he sees McNeil as a potential "super-utility guy" in the big leagues.

While many have called for McNeil's promotion already, that may have to wait just a bit longer. With Flores and Asdrubal Cabrera among those rumored in trade talks prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, McNeil could step in for any infielders shipped away as the Mets look toward 2019.

The Mets could also designate struggling veteran Jose Reyes for assignment to make room for McNeil, but have shown hesitancy to do so at this point. As such, McNeil's debut is likely still a week or two away.

"He's a valuable asset at this point," Callaway said. "We think that moving him around is going to give him the best chance to help us up here, and help us be the best team we can possibly be."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

In place of deGrom, Oswalt chased in 1st start

MLB.com

MIAMI -- Regardless of what happens with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and other high-profile Mets who may or may not be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the team's reorganized front office will spend the final three months of this season looking forward, ever forward, to 2019.

Barring a late charge back into contention -- and the Mets dampened those prospects with an 8-2 loss to the Marlins on Friday, their ninth in 10 games -- the team's top priority will be building for the future.

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MIAMI -- Regardless of what happens with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and other high-profile Mets who may or may not be dealt before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, the team's reorganized front office will spend the final three months of this season looking forward, ever forward, to 2019.

Barring a late charge back into contention -- and the Mets dampened those prospects with an 8-2 loss to the Marlins on Friday, their ninth in 10 games -- the team's top priority will be building for the future.

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The first step is gathering intelligence. The Mets gained a bit more knowledge Friday about their No. 14 prospect Corey Oswalt, who gave up six runs in 2 2/3 innings in his first Major League start after being pressed into emergency duty in place of deGrom. They learned plenty about fellow rookie Tyler Bashlor, who picked up the bullpen with 2 2/3 frames of one-run relief. They added data points on Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith and others who remain part of New York's future.

"When they get the opportunity, we need to get to see them, get our eyes on them, kind of figure out who they are," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "They're part of our future, so we're going to continue to help develop these guys any way we can."

Tweet from @AnthonyDiComo: Mets rookie Corey Oswalt discusses the last-minute circumstances of his start tonight: pic.twitter.com/7F5rLnA5Gi

Replacing deGrom, whom the Mets scratched about three hours prior to game time due to a family issue, Oswalt cruised through his first two innings without issue. But the Marlins rapped out six runs on five hits against him in the third, including Lewis Brinson's solo homer and JT Riddle's three-run shot. The latter home run chased Oswalt from the game.

"I just didn't make enough good pitches today," Oswalt said, dismissing the notion that the last-minute change of plans affected him. "It doesn't change my game or anything. Today, I just didn't make enough pitches."

Video: NYM@MIA: Marlins plate 6 on 2 HRs, 2 singles in 3rd

Pitching in relief of Oswalt, Bashlor also recorded his first six outs without issue before running into trouble in his third inning -- just the fifth time in his professional career that he pitched beyond two. Lefty specialist Jerry Blevins, another trade candidate, retired the final batter of the sixth to preserve Bashlor's final line, then tacked on three more outs in the seventh.

Video: NYM@MIA: Bashlor whiffs Castro to end the 5th inning

The Mets' only run against Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara came in the fourth inning, when Devin Mesoraco doubled home Wilmer Flores with two outs. Making his first big league start, Alcantara lasted five innings, allowing three hits and five walks.

With the loss, the Mets dropped to just a game ahead of the Marlins in the race for the National League's worst record.

"We weren't really in this game tonight, but we've been in most games," Callaway said. "That was a tough loss tonight. They need to get back on the horse, bring energy tomorrow, and go out there and play the game the way they're capable of."

Video: NYM@MIA: Mesoraco belts an RBI double to left field

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Mets' best chance to make things interesting fell short in the eighth inning, after they loaded the bases with no outs. With Flores due up, the Marlins turned to former closer Brad Ziegler, who induced a run-scoring double play to stunt the rally. Two batters later, with runners on the corners, pinch-hitter Jose Reyes struck out to end the inning.

Video: NYM@MIA: Bautista crosses the dish on Flores' DP

SOUND SMART
Entering the night, Rosario had never walked more than once in a game in his big league career. He shattered that streak with three walks in four plate appearances, showcasing some of the plate discipline the Mets tried to drill in him during a three-game hiatus from the starting lineup last week.

"It was all Rosario," Callaway said. "There were some close pitches in there. He laid off of them. He did a good job. He's trying to implement that plan our hitting coaches put in place with him. … Tonight, I really thought it paid dividends. He wasn't chasing that slider just off the plate down-and-away."

HE SAID IT
"It can be a tall order. I've seen it work both ways. I've seen it help guys out because there's not another 24 hours of anxiety when this happens. But tonight, it just didn't work out in his favor or in our favor."
-- Callaway, on Oswalt's short notice

UP NEXT
His start pushed back a day for personal reasons, deGrom will take the mound at 4:10 p.m. ET on Saturday at Marlins Park, looking to improve upon his MLB-leading 1.69 ERA. He'll oppose a second consecutive Marlins pitcher making his first big league start: right-hander Pablo Lopez, who produced a 1.44 ERA in 12 Minor League starts in 2018.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Corey Oswalt

Big names pepper Double-A All-Star rosters

Vlad Jr., Bichette, Tebow among headliners for Eastern League event
MLB.com

A handful of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects headline the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game rosters that were announced Friday. Toronto top prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, and Colorado's Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lambert are among those on the stacked Eastern Division roster, while Detroit's Beau Burrows leads the Western Division roster.

Also included is Mets outfield prospect and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who is in one of his most productive stretches of the season with a hit in his past six games. Tebow is hitting .261/.335/.398 this year with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. He has five home runs and 30 RBIs in 67 games.

A handful of MLB Pipeline's Top 100 Prospects headline the Double-A Eastern League All-Star Game rosters that were announced Friday. Toronto top prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Bo Bichette, and Colorado's Brendan Rodgers and Peter Lambert are among those on the stacked Eastern Division roster, while Detroit's Beau Burrows leads the Western Division roster.

Also included is Mets outfield prospect and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow, who is in one of his most productive stretches of the season with a hit in his past six games. Tebow is hitting .261/.335/.398 this year with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies. He has five home runs and 30 RBIs in 67 games.

Guerrero Jr., the No. 2 prospect in baseball per MLB Pipeline, is a third baseman batting .407 with 11 homers for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and his teammate, No. 8 overall prospect Bichette, is hitting .280/.344/.447. Guerrero Jr. hasn't played since June 6, however, because of a left knee strain and might not be able to participate. Bichette, a shortstop, ranks second in the Double-A circuit with 85 hits.

Rodgers, the No. 7 prospect in baseball and the Rockies' top prospect, has hit 14 homers for Hartford, tied for fifth in the league, and has a .277/.333/.514 slash line.

Lambert, a Rockies right-hander, has a league-leading 2.23 ERA for the Yard Goats and is No. 91 on Pipeline's Top 100. In 92 2/3 innings, Lambert has struck out 75 and walked only 12. The announcement notes that Lambert will be unable to participate in the game, however, perhaps with a promotion to Triple-A Albuquerque on the horizon.

No. 66 prospect Beau Burrows, a right-hander ranked fourth in the Tigers' organization, is 6-5 with the Erie SeaWolves and has a 3.33 ERA. Burrows earned his spot with 65 strikeouts in 75 2/3 innings this season.

The All-Star Game will take place on July 11 at Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, N.J.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow her on Twitter at @anne__rogers.

Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Bo Bichette, Beau Burrows, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Peter Lambert, Brendan Rodgers, Tim Tebow

Mets introduce top 2018 Draft pick Kelenic

Nimmo returns to lineup; Syndergaard clears hurdle after using all his pitches in 'pen session
MLB.com

NEW YORK -- Despite a home white Mets jersey draped over his shoulders and a swath of television cameras in his face, the reality of big league life had still not registered for Jarred Kelenic. Perhaps that is for good reason: For even a prospect as highly touted as Kelenic, whom New York drafted No. 6 overall earlier this month, the journey from Rookie ball to Flushing will take time.

"It hasn't really still sunk in yet, as I'm sitting here today," Kelenic said. "To hear your name called [on Draft night] was something special."

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NEW YORK -- Despite a home white Mets jersey draped over his shoulders and a swath of television cameras in his face, the reality of big league life had still not registered for Jarred Kelenic. Perhaps that is for good reason: For even a prospect as highly touted as Kelenic, whom New York drafted No. 6 overall earlier this month, the journey from Rookie ball to Flushing will take time.

"It hasn't really still sunk in yet, as I'm sitting here today," Kelenic said. "To hear your name called [on Draft night] was something special."

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Once that climb is completed, the Mets hope, days like Wednesday -- when they introduced their highest selection in 14 years to the media at Citi Field -- will transform into a more regular occurrence for their first-round Draft pick. After conducting a news conference with director of amateur scouting Marc Tramuta and Chris Hervey, the club's area scout who signed him, Kelenic took on-field batting practice with the final group of Mets hitters prior to their series finale against the Pirates.

Tweet from @Mets: Our 2018 first round pick, @JKelenic_1019 in the 🏡! pic.twitter.com/xZwXwTc62t

He then took in the game from a suite with his family, who accompanied him from their home in Waukesha, Wis. It was the second trip to New York for Kelenic, a left-handed-hitting outfielder who began his pro career earlier this week with the Gulf Coast Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Kelenic said he and his family enjoyed an "awesome" Italian dinner Tuesday night, and did some sightseeing on Wednesday before jetting to Flushing for the game. It was a diner in Times Square that caught Kelenic's attention, as much as any other part of the sudden spectacle of Major League life.

Video: PIT@NYM: Mets top pick Kelenic on his work ethic

Around the horn
• Three days after he was struck by a pitch on his right pinkie finger, Brandon Nimmo was back in the Mets' lineup -- and in an interesting spot. After playing predominantly left field for much of the last two months, Nimmo was slotted in center field on Wednesday, pushing Michael Conforto to left. Nimmo began the year in center, but he had started there just twice since May 13 while Conforto received the bulk of the playing time there. The alignment will be reversed going forward, and the Mets may also be better off.

By Statcast™ metrics, Nimmo rates as both a faster runner (28.7 ft/sec average sprint speed compared to Conforto's 27.6 ft/sec), and more skilled defender than Conforto, a corner outfielder by trade. Nimmo slots in at plus-one Outs Above Average (slightly above average) while Conforto rates at minus-one OOA (slightly below).

Video: LAD@NYM: Nimmo hit in hand by pitch, later exits game

Noah Syndergaard cleared a significant hurdle in his recovery from a strained right index finger on Tuesday, throwing "all his pitches" in a full-strength bullpen session, according to manager Mickey Callaway. On the disabled list since May 26, Syndergaard's "next step is to start facing hitters," the manager said.

Jason Vargas also threw a bullpen session at Citi Field on Wednesday, in the process testing the strength of his strained right calf. Callaway hinted that Vargas is unlikely to be activated to start Saturday, when he is eligible to come off the disabled list.

"We'll have to test him out in an actual game situation probably before we activate him," Callaway said.

• Calloway said the Mets will "try to arrange" for ailing left fielder Yoenis Cespedes to meet the team in Miami, when it opens a three-game set against the Marlins on Friday. Inactive since mid-May with a hip flexor strain, Cespedes has spent much of the month with the team's training staff in Port St. Lucie. He suffered a setback while on a rehab assignment at Double-A Binghamton on June 10.

Amed Rosario returned to the Mets' starting lineup after three days, much of which the second-year shortstop spent in the batting cage. Hoping to help Rosario "shorten his swing," Callaway described the modified batting practice the Mets crafted for Rosario this week: "We got real close to him and threw the ball pretty hard." The objective, Callaway said, was to make it "difficult for him to get his barrel to the ball."

Video: NYM@COL: Rosario belts a 2-run double in the 9th

It was a particularly undisciplined run at the plate that sent Rosario to the bench initially. The 22-year-old had not taken a walk in his last 55 plate appearances, and he entered Wednesday hitting .203/.225/.290 in June. He has coupled his 3.1 percent walk-rate, which FanGraphs ranks third-lowest among all qualified position players in MLB, with an above-average 22-percent strikeout rate on the season.

Staub's legacy lives on
Each year since 1985, the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children Benefit Fund, in conjunction with its founder, Rusty Staub, had hosted the families of New York City police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty for a philanthropic picnic at the Mets' home stadium. The event has helped raised more than $140 million over the years.

Video: PIT@NYM: Remembering Rusty Staub's charitable impact

On Wednesday, it was held for the first time without Staub, who died on March 29 at age 73. The Mets continued the annual memorial in Staub's name before their series finale against the Pirates at Citi Field. Mets players David Wright, Travis d'Arnaud and Jay Bruce and broadcaster Ron Darling greeted and signed autographs for attendees of the dinner, which was dedicated to Staub. Afterwards, four children of city workers killed in the line of duty threw out the ceremonial first pitches.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

New York Mets

Mets call up OF Kaczmarski, RHP Smith

MLB.com

DENVER -- Shaking up their roster following a 6-4 loss to the Rockies on Thursday, the Mets called up outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski and reliever Drew Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday. Both players join a big league roster for the first time.

The Mets optioned relievers Paul Sewald and Chris Flexen to Las Vegas on Thursday. They designated right-hander Hansel Robles for assignment and transferred right-hander AJ Ramos to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Kaczmarski and Smith.

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DENVER -- Shaking up their roster following a 6-4 loss to the Rockies on Thursday, the Mets called up outfielder Kevin Kaczmarski and reliever Drew Smith from Triple-A Las Vegas on Friday. Both players join a big league roster for the first time.

The Mets optioned relievers Paul Sewald and Chris Flexen to Las Vegas on Thursday. They designated right-hander Hansel Robles for assignment and transferred right-hander AJ Ramos to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Kaczmarski and Smith.

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Smith, a right-hander whom the Mets acquired from the Rays for Lucas Duda last July, is the Mets' 30th-ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline. Capable of reaching into the upper-90s with his fastball, Smith posted a 3.00 ERA in 21 appearances at hitter-friendly Las Vegas, striking out 28 batters in 30 innings. He is one of a group of high-upside relievers the Mets acquired during their veteran sell-off last summer, along with Jacob Rhame, Jamie Callahan, Gerson Bautista and others.

Although Kaczmarski was never a highly touted prospect, he has done little but hit at every stage of his career. The NCAA Division 1 batting champion his senior season at the University of Evansville, Kaczmarski became the Mets' ninth-round Draft pick in 2015. He owns a .299 career batting average over four professional seasons, including a .363 mark with an .863 OPS this year at Las Vegas. Kaczmarski has, however, just 11 home runs in 336 career Minor League games.

The moves will even out New York's bench, giving it five reserve hitters and seven relievers. Sewald produced a 7.71 ERA over his last 10 appearances with the Mets, while Flexen faced just one batter in his latest big league stint.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Mets sign their top Draft pick OF Kelenic

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The Mets struck a deal on Friday with first-round Draft pick Jarred Kelenic, their highest selection in 14 years, signing the outfielder to an under-slot contract of $4.5 million. Kelenic, who was selected sixth overall, will report to the rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and will participate in batting practice at Citi Field later this month.

Later Friday, the Mets also finalized a $1.85 million deal with second-rounder Simeon Woods-Richardson, a pitcher. The Mets have now signed more than half of their 40 Draft picks.

PHOENIX -- The Mets struck a deal on Friday with first-round Draft pick Jarred Kelenic, their highest selection in 14 years, signing the outfielder to an under-slot contract of $4.5 million. Kelenic, who was selected sixth overall, will report to the rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla., and will participate in batting practice at Citi Field later this month.

Later Friday, the Mets also finalized a $1.85 million deal with second-rounder Simeon Woods-Richardson, a pitcher. The Mets have now signed more than half of their 40 Draft picks.

None came as highly touted as Kelenic, 18, a Wisconsin native who eschewed high school baseball in favor of the elite travel circuit. Kelenic graduated high school early so he could focus on training in advance of the Draft. Hitting daily at a batting cage owned by his father, Kelenic also worked out at the same facility as NFL Pro Bowler J.J. Watt.

"We felt very comfortable selecting a player this high in the Draft who has tremendous makeup, passion for the game, intensity for the game," Mets director of amateur scouting Marc Tramuta said recently of Kelenic, a center fielder who could wind up at a corner-outfield spot. "That's been his sole goal is to play in the big leagues and get drafted as high as possible."

The $4.5 million signing clocked in more than $1 million below the sixth-overall pick's slot value, meaning the Mets can spend the money they saved on other selections. For example, the team paid more than $360,000 over slot to sign Woods-Richardson, a hard-throwing high school right-hander. The club also went $50,000 over slot to sign its 23rd-round pick, pitcher Saul Gonzalez, who attended the same high school as Francisco Lindor, and $5,000 over slot to sign 31st-round pick Brendan Hardy.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets

Matz at full strength, ready to start vs. D-backs

Mets lefty pushed to Saturday due to blister on finger
MLB.com

PHOENIX -- The Mets' rotation shuffle, which they announced Wednesday night after landing in Arizona, was due to a blister that tore off of Steven Matz's left middle finger earlier this week. After team athletic trainers treated the blister, they recommended the Mets push Matz's start back from Thursday to Saturday -- a "luxury," as Matz called it, that the team could afford after skipping Jason Vargas' last turn through the rotation.

A relatively fresh Vargas started Thursday in Matz's place, and the team is confident Matz will be at full strength Saturday. The left-hander threw a light side session at Chase Field without issue.

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PHOENIX -- The Mets' rotation shuffle, which they announced Wednesday night after landing in Arizona, was due to a blister that tore off of Steven Matz's left middle finger earlier this week. After team athletic trainers treated the blister, they recommended the Mets push Matz's start back from Thursday to Saturday -- a "luxury," as Matz called it, that the team could afford after skipping Jason Vargas' last turn through the rotation.

A relatively fresh Vargas started Thursday in Matz's place, and the team is confident Matz will be at full strength Saturday. The left-hander threw a light side session at Chase Field without issue.

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The Mets had reason to be cautious with Matz, who has improved markedly in recent weeks. Since May 5, Matz owns a 2.68 ERA in seven starts.

Injury updates
Outfielder Jay Bruce will likely receive multiple days off due to lower back soreness that has radiated into his hip and buttocks. Bruce was unavailable to pinch-hit Thursday, according to manager Mickey Callaway, and is unlikely to be in the starting lineup Friday.

Video: NYM@ATL: Bruce plates 2 with a double to left-center

The break comes at a notable time for Bruce, who has gone 109 consecutive plate appearances without a home run, and is batting just .216 with a .624 OPS. Bruce has also committed multiple defensive gaffes in recent days, including a misplay during Wednesday's 2-0 loss to the Braves.

"I think he'll get a breather, mentally," Callaway said. "What we're trying to do is get him healthy so he can go out there and do his job."

Callaway also called infielder Wilmer Flores' return from the disabled list "imminent," indicating he will meet the team this weekend in Arizona. Sidelined since May 28 with a sore back, Flores homered Thursday in his third rehab game for Class A Advanced St. Lucie, and has collected six hits over those three games.

When Flores returns, the Mets must decide whether to option utility infielder Luis Guillorme back to Triple-A Las Vegas, or perhaps cut ties with struggling veteran Jose Reyes.

Movin' on up
The Mets made two notable Minor League promotions Thursday, bumping first baseman Peter Alonso and infielder Jeff McNeil from Double-A Binghamton to Las Vegas. McNeil and Alonso ranked second and third in the Eastern League in OPS, respectively, trailing only Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

The Mets' fourth-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, Alonso hit .314 with 15 home runs over 65 games with Binghamton, and profiles as an offensive-minded right-handed first baseman. He takes the Las Vegas roster spot of Dominic Smith, whom the Mets recently promoted to the Majors.

McNeil, 26, is enjoying a breakout season in his sixth Minor League campaign, batting .327 with 14 homers in 56 games at Binghamton. He could join the Mets' bench at some point this season.

Bullpen patch
A new face met the Mets Thursday in Arizona, where right-handed reliever Chris Beck joined the bullpen. The Mets claimed Beck, 27, off waivers from the White Sox, after he posted a 4.18 ERA in 14 appearances.

"Really good arm, got really good stuff, from what I remember," said Callaway, who, as Cleveland's pitching coach, faced Beck throughout his White Sox career the past three seasons. "Not scared to challenge guys. So we're excited to have him in the organization, and see what he can do."

To make room for Beck, the Mets optioned right-hander Tim Peterson to Las Vegas.

"It's one of those situations where you kind of just hope somebody does take a flyer on you," Beck said. "They're really not sure what they're getting into. Luckily, I've interacted with Mickey before in Cleveland. I've seen him the past couple of years. So it's kind of refreshing -- a new start. I'm excited about it. There's a lot of history here with the Mets. I'm really just here to get the ball rolling."

Draft signings
The Mets announced a spate of six more Draft signings, including eighth-round pitcher Tylor Megill. The team has signed 18 of its 40 Draft picks -- though the top six picks, including first-round outfielder Jarred Kelenic, remain unsigned.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.

New York Mets, Steven Matz