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Mets option Bautista, recall Oswalt for bullpen

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

ATLANTA -- Gerson Bautista's initial stay with the Mets was brief and ineffective. But considering the Mets' season-long bullpen strategy, he is likely to return before long.

The Mets on Saturday optioned Bautista to Double-A Binghamton, recalling right-hander Corey Oswalt from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place. Bautista appeared in two games with the Mets in his first taste of the big leagues, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings. He averaged 96 mph on his fastball and topped out at 98 -- both down from reports of triple-digit heat last summer.

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ATLANTA -- Gerson Bautista's initial stay with the Mets was brief and ineffective. But considering the Mets' season-long bullpen strategy, he is likely to return before long.

The Mets on Saturday optioned Bautista to Double-A Binghamton, recalling right-hander Corey Oswalt from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place. Bautista appeared in two games with the Mets in his first taste of the big leagues, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings. He averaged 96 mph on his fastball and topped out at 98 -- both down from reports of triple-digit heat last summer.

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"We just told him to go down there and continue to work and improve," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said of Bautista, whom the Mets acquired as part of the Addison Reed trade last July. "He's done such a good job from last year coming into Spring Training, and he looked great, and he's had a great season so far. We'll continue to communicate with his Minor League pitching coaches and continue to get him better."

Oswalt returns for his second stint with the Mets, though he never had a chance to make his big league debut in the first one. In two starts for Las Vegas, Oswalt went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, 12 strikeouts and four walks in nine innings.

Already this month, the Mets have made six bullpen transactions, aiming to keep as many relievers as fresh as possible. Bautista, Oswalt, Jacob Rhame and Hansel Robles are among those who have shuttled back and forth from the Minor Leagues.

Missing links
A day after Yoenis Cespedes acknowledged he is considering golfing again as a way to bust his early-season slump, Callaway said he's fine with it -- as long as the hobby doesn't interfere with Cespedes' daily responsibilities.

"I think golf is like anything else," Callaway said. "If he does it the right way, he's smart about it -- off-days, days when we come in and we're not taking BP -- and it doesn't fatigue him or affect baseball, then guys can do what they want away from the field."

An avid golfer, Cespedes says the game forces him to concentrate on swing mechanics, allowing him to break out of slumps. But he gave it up last summer amid criticism that he was spending too much time at the golf course, interfering with his ability to avoid the types of leg injuries that have dogged him for much of his Mets career.

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

New York Mets