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Mets activate Smoker, DFA righty Ramirez

MLB.com @AnthonyDiComo

NEW YORK -- His shoulder healthy following a five-week stint on the disabled list, left-handed reliever Josh Smoker returned to the Mets on Thursday. The team activated Smoker prior to its series finale against the Cardinals, designating right-hander Neil Ramirez for assignment.

Smoker, 28, allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings of a Minor League rehab assignment split between Class A Advanced St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. Prior to landing on the DL with a left shoulder strain, he held a 7.45 ERA in 22 games. Much of that damage came over his final three outings, in which he allowed eight runs over seven innings.

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NEW YORK -- His shoulder healthy following a five-week stint on the disabled list, left-handed reliever Josh Smoker returned to the Mets on Thursday. The team activated Smoker prior to its series finale against the Cardinals, designating right-hander Neil Ramirez for assignment.

Smoker, 28, allowed two runs over 5 1/3 innings of a Minor League rehab assignment split between Class A Advanced St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton. Prior to landing on the DL with a left shoulder strain, he held a 7.45 ERA in 22 games. Much of that damage came over his final three outings, in which he allowed eight runs over seven innings.

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A member of the Mets' Opening Day bullpen, Smoker is capable of delivering his four-seam fastball up to 99 mph. But control issues -- 5.28 walks per nine innings -- have limited his effectiveness.

Smoker replaces Ramirez, who posted a 6.43 ERA in 21 innings after the Mets signed him as a free agent earlier this summer. Overall with the Mets and Giants this season, Ramirez owns a 7.18 ERA in 29 games. He has been designated for assignment three times.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.

New York Mets, Neil Ramirez, Josh Smoker