Home News Mets Notebook: Adrian Houser scratched from Wednesday start

Mets Notebook: Adrian Houser scratched from Wednesday start

With eight more games to play before a day off, the Mets are in a tough spot with their pitching plans.

Adrian Houser was slated to pitch Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, but then the Mets were forced to empty their bullpen in a 4-0 home loss Tuesday afternoon. The right-hander, who has made one appearance out of the bullpen since losing his spot in the rotation earlier this month, had to warm up when Sean Reid-Foley gave up four straight hits to the Phillies in the ninth.

As a result, the Mets have to scratch him from his start Wednesday. The Mets are expected to call up left-hander Joey Lucchesi from Triple-A Syracuse, who is 2-1 with a 2.58 ERA in seven starts this season.

“He got hot,” said manager Carlos Mendoza. “That’s where we’re at. We were already pushing Reid-Foley refolding today, and with pretty heavy usage the past few days with him we were trying to stay away. But by then we had used a lot of guys and Houser was the last guy. I wasn’t going to push Reid-Foley more than 35 pitches. The fact that [Houser] got hot means he won’t be able to start.”

The Mets don’t have a starter for Wednesday. They plan to discuss pitching plans when they get to Philadelphia Tuesday night. They tried to stay away from him, but when Reid-Foley’s pitch count neared 20, the Mets felt it best to get Houser ready.

“Today before the game, we knew we were very thin going into it,” Mendoza said. “So we talked to [Houser] and he was available. He was open. He was like, ‘I’ll be ready to go.’”

Mendoza didn’t rule out the possibility of a bullpen game, though that could further tax and already beleaguered ‘pen. After five tough games against the Atlanta Braves and Phillies, the bullpen isn’t in great shape. Reid-Foley and right-hander Jorge Lopez have each pitched back-to-back games. The Mets only use pitchers up to two days in a row, but they may have to break that rule to cover nine innings.

Getting a pitcher from Triple-A Syracuse would require a roster move, which would be fine if the Mets didn’t already have to make one Wednesday to activate Drew Smith from the 15-day injured list. Right-hander Reed Garrett is the only reliever with minor league options and since he’s been one of the best relievers for the Mets this season, it’s unlikely they will demote him. Garrett also hasn’t pitched since Sunday, so he should be able to provide the Mets with some much-needed length.

Right-hander Yohan Ramirez is the likely candidate to get designated for assignment. The Mets already lost him on waivers once this season and were able to reclaim him, but someone has to go with Smith returning and the Mets needing a fresh arm.

But if the Mets decide they need a starter from Syracuse, Reid-Foley might get designated, as the right-hander has pitched on back-to-back days and therefore won’t be available for a few more. Reid-Foley has been excellent for the Mets so far this season. He made 10 appearances before giving up an earned run, finally surrendering two to the Phillies on Tuesday.

The other option would be designating Houser, who is 0-3 with a 7.63 ERA.

Of course, the Mets could always have left-hander Jose Quintana pitch on regular rest. Adding Houser back to the rotation was an attempt to give the starters an extra day before their next outings. Right-hander Tylor Megill just made a rehab start Sunday with Triple-A Syracuse, so he’s unavailable.

The Mets might have to scrap their six-man rotation plan this time through the rotation.


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