PHOENIX — Seth Lugo was barely missed in the Mets bullpen during his two-month hiatus, but his return to the roster, if not the mound, Monday figured to bolster an already formidable unit.
“Let me jump on board here,” Lugo said before the Mets beat the Diamondbacks 6-2 on Monday without him. “Let’s figure out what’s going on, because I definitely want to be a piece of that.”
Lugo, who underwent February surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow, was the team’s most effective reliever in 2018 and ’19 before shifting to the starting rotation last year.
Though the Mets are thin on rotation depth and strong in the bullpen this season (with Jeurys Familia, Trevor May, Aaron Loup and Edwin Diaz among those leading the way), Lugo said team officials haven’t discussed the idea of using him as a starter. But manager Luis Rojas mentioned Lugo as a possibility to be used in the opener’s role if such a need should arise.
Sean Reid-Foley was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse, creating a spot in the bullpen for Lugo.
In something of a surprise move, Sam McWilliams was designated for assignment by the Mets to clear space on the 40-man roster. McWilliams, a career minor leaguer, was signed to a major league contract early in the offseason, based on an uptick in velocity he had displayed in the Rays’ alternate site camp last summer with his four-seam fastball.
McWilliams was 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in seven appearances for Triple-A Syracuse.
“I know he was scattered with his command,” Rojas said. “This is just one of those situations, we had so many moving parts on our roster.”
The Mets have adjusted their rotation, flip-flopping Marcus Stroman and David Peterson. The lefty Peterson will now pitch on Wednesday, allowing Stroman to remain on normal rest. Taijuan Walker is the Mets’ scheduled starting pitcher for Thursday’s game in San Diego.
J.D. Davis remains in limbo in his rehab from a left hand sprain. Rojas indicated Davis isn’t yet ready to begin a rehab assignment for Syracuse, as the Mets want to ensure he doesn’t incur a setback by playing before he is ready.
“We’re still treating him,” Rojas said. “We’re still progressing him and getting more feedback.”