NEW YORK -- Unwilling to risk further injury to Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak, the Mets on Tuesday placed the right-hander on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. They recalled Hansel Robles from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place.Swarzak, who joined the Mets this offseason on a
NEW YORK -- Unwilling to risk further injury to Mets reliever Anthony Swarzak, the Mets on Tuesday placed the right-hander on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left oblique. They recalled Hansel Robles from Triple-A Las Vegas to take his place.
Swarzak, who joined the Mets this offseason on a two-year, $14-million contract, departed Saturday's game complaining of oblique soreness. He underwent an MRI on Monday morning, which revealed a "mild to moderate" strain.
"It's real frustrating," Swarzak said. "It's hard to accept because I've worked so hard the last three years to put myself in this position, and to get the attention of the club and to get the contract, and to do everything that goes along with it. I got out to a good start, got to pitch the first two games of the season and was throwing the ball well, and then that happened."
Doctors told Swarzak that missing "a few weeks" is his best-case scenario. But Swarzak felt well enough Tuesday that he expects to beat that projected timetable.
"This is my first oblique injury," Swarzak said. "From what I understand, you've got to be careful with them because you don't want them to keep lingering. But from the doctors' standpoint and from how I feel right now, I feel like it's going to be on the short end."
With Swarzak sidelined, the Mets will turn to Robles for bullpen depth. A favorite to make the team at the outset of Spring Training, Robles posted a 9.26 Grapefruit League ERA to earn a demotion to Las Vegas. Robles owns a 3.97 ERA over three seasons with the Mets, striking out 9.8 batters per nine innings.
"Spring Training was just practicing, practicing, practicing," Robles said through an interpreter. "Now, I've got to focus. And I will focus right now and give 100 percent of me."
All signs point to the Mets activating Michael Conforto from the disabled list as soon as he is eligible Thursday in Washington.
"He's ready to go," manager Mickey Callaway said.
Conforto, who underwent surgery in September to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder, flew to New York on Sunday. He took at-bats in a simulated game Monday at Citi Field, and has no further tests he must pass before the Mets activate him, according to Callaway. Still, the team has yet to make his return date official.
"At the end of the day, I'm going to have to get my timing back against the [Max] Scherzers and the [Stephen] Strasburgs and the guys I'm going to be facing this year," Conforto said. "I've got to see big league guys and get ready for that. I'm excited for that opportunity."
Also on the mend
Jason Vargas will throw another simulated game this weekend as he continues rehabbing from surgery to remove a broken bone from his right hand. Vargas plans to stretch out to around 90 pitches in the session, but is still not capable of fielding his position. Thus, the Mets will limit him to a simulated game, in which they can control the defensive conditions.
Vargas threw a 65-pitch simulated game on Monday, and appears primed for a mid-April return from the DL.
Popular Mets broadcaster Keith Hernandez has taken to Twitter, offering his musings at the handle @kher8286.
"For all you doubters out there, yes I am tweeting," Hernandez said. "It is me. I don't know what I'm getting myself into, but I'm doing it. So let's have fun this summer."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.