Not much has been going right for the Mets this season. They’re stuck in the bottom of the National League East standings and most experts have already written them off for the postseason.
Chris Young has been a bright spot. Signed to a bargain one-year, $1.1 million contract this winter, he posted a 1.46 ERA and 12/6 K/BB ratio over his first two regular season starts and has now made a quick recovery from a mild case of biceps tendinitis.
According to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, Young threw a successful three-inning simulated game on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field and is pushing to return to the Mets’ rotation on Tuesday night against the Nationals. He will toss a final bullpen session Saturday to prove his readiness.
“I think so,” Young said when asked about skipping a minor league rehab assignment. “I haven’t missed too much. I think if it were prolonged, I’d probably need a rehab start. But at this point I still feel comfortable picking up hopefully where I left off.”
Dillon Gee, 24, has been filling in for Young. He limited the Braves to one earned run over five-plus innings on Sunday but will likely head back to the Triple-A level once Young is deemed fit to return.
Long-time rotation mainstay Tom Koehler was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on Monday and reliever Hunter Cervenka was recalled, the Marlins announced.
Koehler, 31, made 131 starts out of the Marlins’ rotation over the last five years, but his 12 this season have not been good, so the club hopes he can figure things out with a stint in the minors. He’s carrying a 7.92 ERA with a 44/29 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. Koehler battled bursitis in his right shoulder in May and June, which may partially explain his struggles.
Cervenka, 27, posted a 4.50 ERA with a 34/21 K/BB ratio in 34 innings of relief with New Orleans. He hasn’t pitched in the majors yet this season, but compiled a 3.53 ERA over 43 1/3 innings in the bigs last year in the Marlins’ bullpen.
At the trade deadline, relief pitching is the name of the game and one of the names clearly available is Pat Neshek. Today Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports that the Nationals, Dodgers, and Red Sox are among the clubs who are closely scouting the Phillies reliever. Last week Ken Rosenthal reported that the Brewers and Rays were involved as well.
Neshek is an impending free agent, so he may come cheaper than Justin Wilson or some of the other bullpen arms available right now. The All-Star is 36 and is posting a fantastic season, featuring a 1.12 ERA and 45/5 K/BB ratio over 40.1 innings this season.