Mets lose high-leverage relief arm to significant elbow injury

MLB: New York Mets at Texas Rangers
Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The mood about the team in Flushing has shifted 180 degrees over the past couple of weeks, with the Mets winning 17 out of their last 22 games and not only returning to .500 for the first time since May 7 but being just one game out of the final wild-card spot.

However, while the blue and orange have turned their season around, injuries continue to pile up.

Within the last week, the blue and orange have lost Sean Reid-Foley to a 15-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement, and Grant Hartwig has undergone knee surgery. Starling Marte went on the 10-day injured list with a right knee bone bruise.

Recently, the Mets placed Drew Smith on the 15-day injured list retroactive to June 24 with a right elbow sprain. However, Smith revealed the extent of his injury after further testing.

MLB: New York Mets at Texas Rangers
Credit: Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Smith has ‘pretty significant damage’ in his elbow

Prior to the Mets game against the Houston Astros on Friday, Smith spoke to the media and revealed the extent of his injury.

“The original image showed some pretty significant damage,” Smith said.“Just getting a second opinion right now, but surgery is on the table, so we are just going to wait and see.”

(1) SNY on X: “Drew Smith says imaging on his right elbow showed some “pretty significant damage” and surgery is on the table:” / X

The 30-year-old clarified that they have yet to determine whether the surgery will be Tommy John or the internal brace operation.

Smith has pitched 17.2 innings across 19 appearances to a 3.06 ERA with a 1.528 WHIP and 23 strikeouts while registering two saves.

The Texas native is scheduled to become a free agent following the season and was emotional when discussing his future.

“It sucks man,” Smith said. “This will be my second one. I’ve been with the Mets for a long time, and I love this organization; they’ve done a lot for me. Obviously, going into free agency, it’s a tough time for this to happen, but there’s never a good time for this to happen; this really stings. I loved my time here, I don’t know if it’s over, obviously, but it could be, and it just sucks to see it end like this.”

(1) SNY on X: “An emotional Drew Smith, who enters free agency after this season, speaks on the possibility of surgery and his future with the Mets: “This really stings… I loved my time here, I don’t know if it’s over obviously, but it could be, and it just sucks to see it end like this.”” / X

What does this mean for the Mets?

The Mets have lost two higher-tier pending free-agent relievers to season-ending procedures in Smith and Brooks Raley.

Ty Adcock got called up to take Smith’s spot in the bullpen and now has himself a place on the major league roster for the time being, but president of baseball operations David Stearns may need to look at the market and try to acquire a reliever if they hope to continue their playoff push.

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