ATLANTA — Mickey Callaway meant it.
When he said that it was time for a shakeup, that the old ways weren’t working, and that they needed to look “outside of the box,” he apparently meant outside of the 40-man roster, and away from their $30 million setup man.
The Mets’ beleaguered bullpen got a jolt Tuesday when Jeurys Familia was shipped to the 10-day injured list with what’s being termed as a “Bennett lesion” in his shoulder. His partner in Monday night’s misery, Drew Gagnon, was sent back to Triple-A Syracuse.
In their stead, the Mets called up lefty Daniel Zamora and a new major-league addition, Stephen Nogosek. Familia previously said that he felt fine, though he didn’t speak Monday night after being charged with three runs, breaking open the game for the Braves. His ERA is up to 7.81, he’s walked 21 batters in 27 2/3 innings , and Callaway said Monday that he believed Familia’s confidence was shaken.
Before the roster moves, Callaway was asked if Familia was healthy.
“It seems like his stuff is in the right place,” he said. “We’ll have conversations with him daily, we’ll see how he bounced back today from last night and continue to do our daily due diligence on everybody and their health.”
That, though, was before a team meeting, held after the clubhouse was closed to reporters. Regardless, it was increasingly clear that something was coming, even before Zamora strode into the visitor’s locker room at SunTrust Park and the official announcements came down. On Monday, Callaway said of the bullpen. which gave up seven runs, “we stunk.”
“We’re going to keep on running them out there until they do [figure it out],” Callaway said, “or we’re going to have to get some new ones.”
Familia’s struggles have affected how the Mets have had to use their relievers, dancing around seventh and eighth innings with a bevy of arms that didn’t seem up to the task. Their two most consistent bullpen arms have been Seth Lugo and closer Edwin Diaz, though Diaz has allowed eight runs in his past six appearances covering 6 2/3 innings. But Lugo and Diaz. can’t be used in every situation, and often not even for multiple innings. What’s resulted is a troupe that has gone 0-3 with an 8.51 ERA in its last eight games. Before Tuesday, the bullpen had a June ERA of 8.49, the highest in the majors. Familia’s diagnosis, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, involves a bone spur that is usually asymptomatic, but can sometimes cause pain.
And though it’s been far from only him, Familia has taken the brunt of the blowback, in no small part because of his contract, signed this offseason, of three years, $30 million. And because he represents some of the team’s dashed hopes that a shutdown bullpen that could shorten games by at least three innings, if need be.
Callaway seemed to have come to terms with this reality, though at the time he declined to say how he was going to change the trajectory.
After, the answer was clearer: Zamora provides a lefty arm in a bullpen that didn’t have one, though he struggled some in 11 games this year (four earned runs in six innings). Nogosek has been impressive in Triple- and Double-A, going 2-0 with a 0.57 ERA, with 35 strikeouts and 17 walks in 31 2/3 innings.
It’s a shakeup, all right. Now to see if it’s enough.
Wilson scratched. Reliever Justin Wilson was scratched from his rehab appearance with Triple-A Syracuse with left-elbow tightness.