Rays reliever J.P. Howell diagnosed with gout

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Rays reliever J.P. Howell left the team and traveled back to Florida to have his left foot examined by team doctors yesterday and the southpaw has been diagnosed with gout.

Howell pitched through the pain twice already and Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports that he’ll likely be back with the Rays tonight and available out of the bullpen at some point this weekend, avoiding a trip to the disabled list.

He’ll no doubt do anything he can to avoid the DL after missing all of last season and most of this year following shoulder surgery. Howell has allowed 12 runs in 8.2 innings since returning.

Jose Reyes is hitless in 20 plate appearances to start the season

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Mets backup infielder Jose Reyes pinch-hit and popped up in the top of the eighth inning of Thursday night’s game in Atlanta against the Braves. That ran his streak up to 20 consecutive hitless plate appearances to start the 2018 season. He has reached base once, however, on a walk, so there’s that.

Reyes, 34, signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Mets near the end of January. At the time, the Mets hadn’t yet signed Todd Frazier, so Reyes was in the mix to contribute as a utilityman but he has operated as a bat off the bench for the most part this season.

One wonders how much longer the Mets are going to let Reyes flounder. According to FanGraphs, he has already been worth a half-win less than a replacement-level player. Only eight other players have been as bad or worse this season.