NEW YORK -- One day after Josh Smoker threw 81 pitches in relief, the Mets placed him on the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain. Rafael Montero was recalled in a corresponding move.After Zack Wheeler recorded only five outs against the Cubs during the Mets' 14-3 loss Wednesday
NEW YORK -- One day after Josh Smoker threw 81 pitches in relief, the Mets placed him on the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain. Rafael Montero was recalled in a corresponding move.
After Zack Wheeler recorded only five outs against the Cubs during the Mets' 14-3 loss Wednesday night, Smoker entered and tossed four innings, allowing two runs on six hits and four walks. Smoker, who had been functioning as the long man in New York's bullpen, has a 7.45 ERA on the season, and he was sent to Triple-A Las Vegas to be stretched out.
Mets manager Terry Collins lauded Smoker's outing following the conclusion of the game, and he did not mention that Smoker was hurt.
"[He] saved us," Collins said. "Because we could have burned out a lot of pitching tonight. And he sucked it up and went out there and pitched some tough innings. I really appreciated it. He did a nice job. He really did a good job to get us through those [four] innings. He was out of gas going out there the last inning, but we tried to stretch him as best we could so we didn't have to burn anybody else."
While Montero was already in the Mets' clubhouse hours before Wednesday's game, the Mets did not announce Smoker's DL stint until roughly a half-hour prior to first pitch. During his pregame news conference, Collins said the Mets were considering a "couple" of options for the corresponding move to calling up Montero.
Montero, a once-promising prospect in the organization, has struggled mightily in the Majors throughout his career, and especially this season. He came into Wednesday having allowed 18 runs over 19 2/3 innings (8.24 ERA). Those numbers are even worse during his two starts in 2017 (10.80 ERA). Since being sent to Las Vegas on May 26, Montero allowed seven runs (six earned) over 18 2/3 innings in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
Michael Conforto remained out of the lineup for the third consecutive day with back tightness, but said he is feeling much better and that his absence Wednesday is mainly precautionary.
"We're just being really cautious," Conforto said. "But I feel really good today."
Conforto warmed up with the team and took batting practice, and said he would be available off the bench if it was up to him. He confirmed that the tightness began Sunday in Atlanta, the day after he played both games of a doubleheader. Conforto has not undergone any tests, but he did meet with doctors.
Chris Bumbaca is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York.