After sitting out the past six weeks with a bone bruise in his elbow Jonathan Broxton has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment tonight at Triple-A.
A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com indicates that Broxton is scheduled to make just two rehab appearances, but given how awful he pitched for the Dodgers prior to being shut down in early May they’ll no doubt need to be convinced that he’s ready to return even with the rest of the bullpen wrecked by injuries.
Broxton was one of the most dominant relievers in baseball from 2006 through the middle of last season, but struggled in the second half of last year and then posted a 5.68 ERA with nine walks in 13 innings this season before landing on the shelf.
Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.
Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.