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Drew Smith returns to Mets' bullpen after shoulder soreness

Mets relief pitcher Drew Smith delivers during the

Mets relief pitcher Drew Smith delivers during the sixth inning against the Marlins in an MLB game at Citi Field on Aug. 8, 2020. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Mets called up righthanded pitcher Drew Smith to help aid their depleted bullpen Sunday, the end of Smith’s return from shoulder soreness that put him on the injured list to start the season.

They optioned Trevor Hildenberger in a corresponding move. Smith also had recovered from Tommy John surgery, which he had in 2019.

"Honestly, it was pretty demoralizing, because I knew I had a decent chance to make the team and I was feeling well, and I’d finally started to feel pretty normal after Tommy John," Smith said of the shoulder ailment. "That was the hardest part — my elbow was starting to feel pretty good . . . Then that shoulder thing happened so it was pretty frustrating."

Smith threw seven innings in 2020, allowing six hits and five earned runs over eight games for a 6.43 ERA , a setback from 2018, in which he had a 3.54 ERA over 28 innings.

 

Right now, he says he’s shoulder is back to 100%.

"It’s really good," he said. "It feels a lot better. I started feeling normal again when I was in Florida. I played catch about two weeks after I got shut down and it cleared out pretty quick, and then it was just a gradual build up off the mound."

Walk this way

Manager Luis Rojas had high praise for new hitting coach Hugh Quattlebaum, who ascended to the position after the Mets fired Chili Davis and assistant Tom Slater 23 games into the season.

"We’re more about our approach as far as, like, being more disciplined in the zone," Rojas said. "I think that’s been set a little more in the last few days. We’ve walked a few times so that’s talking about the byproduct of being disciplined in the zone, which is the walk . . . The quality of the at-bats has been a little bit more consistent, but that’s been our focus since Day 1."

The Mets have walked 21 times in the four games since the firings and drew 88 walks in the games prior.

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