NEW YORK -- Nearly a full year to the day after his last big league appearance, reliever Robert Gsellman rejoined the Mets on Friday prepared to make a multi-inning impact.
Gsellman came off the injured list after spending approximately six weeks rehabbing from a right triceps strain. He missed the final two months of last season due to a left hamstring strain.
Gsellman’s last big league appearance: Aug. 11, 2019.
“I was nervous when I woke up this morning,” he said. “It’s almost been a year since I last played. So my nerves are definitely there and my heart’s racing, but I’m definitely excited to get back out there and show what I can do.”
The Mets see Gsellman as a multi-inning weapon similar to Seth Lugo, though they are more likely to use Gsellman in the middle innings. Although he owns a 4.44 ERA over parts of four seasons with the Mets, including a 4.45 mark since becoming a full-time reliever in 2018, Gsellman’s underlying statistics suggest there is room for improvement. Scouts have long lauded Gsellman’s four-pitch mix, which -- like Lugo’s -- resembles a starter’s repertoire more than a reliever’s.
Despite Gsellman’s injury, manager Luis Rojas said that he is “built” to go multiple innings. After Gsellman recovered from his triceps strain, the Mets spent extra time building up his endurance so he could provide that sort of depth immediately upon his activation from the IL.
“It was just taking it slow and making sure I’m fully healthy,” Gsellman said. “I’m back to normal now.”
To make room for Gsellman on the active roster, the Mets optioned reliever Daniel Zamora to their alternate training site in Brooklyn.
From the trainer’s room
Both Jeff McNeil (mild intercostal strain) and Amed Rosario (left quad tightness) were in the starting lineup Friday for the first time in five days, though McNeil was not at his normal position of third base.
Instead, the Mets -- pleased with what they saw defensively from J.D. Davis in McNeil’s absence -- went with Davis at third and McNeil in left field. That could become a typical alignment if Davis continues showing aptitude at third, his natural position.
“He put in a lot of work there in the offseason, and now during the break, worked on both positions just knowing something like this could happen,” Rojas said. “He worked extremely hard to be a little bit more agile, a little bit more athletic moving laterally, and that’s what he did the other day.”
To comply with Major League Baseball’s league-wide roster reduction from 30 to 28, the Mets on Thursday optioned catcher Ali Sánchez to their alternate training site at Brooklyn. Sánchez, the Mets’ 28th-ranked prospect, did not appear in a game during his stint as the Mets’ third catcher. He has yet to make his Major League debut.
Because the Mets played Wednesday’s game with only 29 active players, Sánchez was the only cut necessary to make their roster compliant again.
The team on Friday also added infielder Luis Carpio to its 60-man player pool, and outrighted outfielder Ryan Cordell to Brooklyn after he cleared waivers.
Carpio, 23, hit .282 with a .740 OPS over two Minor League levels last season, topping out at Double-A Binghamton. Capable of playing second, third and shortstop, he gives the Mets an additional bit of infield depth.