NEW YORK -- An injury-riddled Mets tenure ended prematurely on Monday for outfielder Jake Marisnick, who landed on the 10-day injured list due to right hamstring tightness. With only seven days remaining in the regular season, the move ends Marisnick’s season unless the Mets are able to rally to a postseason berth.
Marisnick, 29, can become a free agent after this season. The Mets traded two prospects, pitcher Blake Taylor and outfielder Kenedy Corona, to the Astros to acquire him in December. Taylor has already established himself as a back-end reliever in the big leagues, posting a 2.41 ERA in 18 2/3 innings, while Corona last played in Class A Short Season last summer. The Astros have Taylor under team control for five more seasons.
Marisnick, meanwhile, was successful in short bursts as Brandon Nimmo’s platoon partner in center field. He hit .333 with a .959 OPS in 34 plate appearances, including a .375/.412/.688 slash line against left-handed pitchers. When healthy, Marisnick was also a frequent defensive replacement late in games.
A left hamstring strain initially set Marisnick back late in Summer Camp. He recovered in time to make the Mets’ Opening Day roster but lasted only five games before straining the muscle and landing on the IL. Marisnick wound up missing a month.
Three weeks later, he again complained of hamstring tightness, this time in his right leg. He returned four days later and played in two additional games, before going back on the IL before Monday’s series opener against the Rays.
“Frustration is really a good word for it,” Marisnick said. “That first hamstring [strain] was something that set me back. For me personally, I’m going to push injuries as hard as I can to get back and get playing, and then the next one pops up. It’s been frustrating. I don’t like sitting on the sidelines watching, so this hurts a little bit for me.”
To replace Marisnick on the active roster, the Mets recalled outfielder Guillermo Heredia, a recent waiver claim from the Pirates who slotted immediately into New York’s starting lineup. A career .239 hitter, Heredia is a natural center fielder and skilled defender.
So is Marisnick, who will enter free agency just shy of his 30th birthday, with little recent playing time on his resume.
“I’m honestly not looking ahead to that,” Marisnick said, noting that he would be interested in a return to the Mets.
“That’s something I can’t control,” he added. “I come into an atmosphere and I try to do as much as I can to help the team win. That’s all I can do. I can’t look into the future or look into the past. I can just focus on getting myself right, and [be] ready for what the next step is.”
From the trainer’s room
• Outfielder Michael Conforto was missing from Monday’s lineup due to a bout of hamstring soreness, which he began feeling during a defensive play late in Sunday’s game. The injury “improved today,” according to a team spokesman, though not enough for him to appear as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of a 2-1 loss to the Rays.
"We came down to the decision just to give him the day," manager Luis Rojas said of Conforto, who is day to day.
• The Mets remain optimistic that reliever Dellin Betances, who has been nursing a right lat injury since August, can return from the IL before the end of the season. Betances threw a simulated inning on Saturday at the team’s alternate training site in Brooklyn and could rejoin the Mets midweek.
It’s been a difficult season for Betances, who has struggled to regain his old velocity while posting a 6.10 ERA in 13 appearances.
“We hope to have him before the season is done,” Rojas said.
Rotation in question
The Mets have not committed to a starting pitcher for their Wednesday series finale against the Rays. Steven Matz and Michael Wacha are both candidates to pitch that day, but both have struggled, and Rojas has not given any indication as to who the team might choose.