CHICAGO — Count newest Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman among those pleased that the Mets didn’t make any further trades Wednesday.
“I truly think that we can have the best staff in all of baseball,” Stroman said, adding that Jacob deGrom is always his answer when somebody asks him who is the best pitcher in baseball. “It’s extremely special. It’s already one of the best staffs in all of baseball and I hope to come in and just add to that.”
An excited Stroman officially joined the Mets Wednesday after taking a couple of days to pack up his life in Toronto, where he had played the past six seasons. He caught up with Steven Matz, a teammate and rival from his Long Island youth, and for the first time put on his orange-and-blue No. 7 jersey
Stroman said he picked that number because Jeff McNeil had his other preference (No. 6), he wore that number at Duke and he is friends with a famous former Mets No. 7: Jose Reyes, his former Blue Jays teammate.
“He’s been one of my guys from the very start of it,” Stroman said. “We keep in contact from all these past years. So he was pretty excited about it. I’m looking forward to seeing him and having him at some games in New York.”
Stroman said he threw an “extended bullpen” session at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday in preparation for his Mets debut Saturday. He hasn’t pitched since July 24.
Smith out at least until September
The stress reaction in Dominic Smith’s left foot will keep him out longer than the Mets initially expected, manager Mickey Callaway said, and he will wear a walking boot and be held out of baseball activities for at least three weeks.
The Mets will re-evaluate Smith in mid-to-late August, meaning he won’t return until September, if he returns at all this season.
“He’s a good lefthanded bat for our lineup to win games, and we’re going to miss him while he’s out,” Callaway said. “All we can do is treat him accordingly and go from there.”
The Mets put Smith on the injured list Saturday with a stress reaction, a less severe version of a stress fracture. He was scheduled for more tests, including a CT scan, on Monday, but general manager Brodie Van Wagenen declined to say what those tests revealed.
“We know that for the next three weeks, he’ll be reduced to non-baseball activities,” Van Wagenen said. “We’ll re-evaluate it in three weeks to be able to have a better timeline.”
Smith, 24, had been having a breakout year, slashing .278/.352/.506 with a career-high 10 homers, playing mostly leftfield.
After blowing his fifth save of the season Tuesday, Edwin Diaz had a 9.00 ERA and .350/.413/.613 slash line allowed since May 29. But Callaway said he has not considered demoting Diaz from closer, in part because the Mets don’t have other options.
“We have to get to the ninth first and foremost to have a ninth to pitch in,” Callaway said. “We’ve got guys that can fill many roles. But right now, Diaz is our closer. We’ve been winning games lately and hopefully we’ll continue to do so. In the meantime, we’re going to do everything we can to get him in a better spot to continue to go out there and be our closer.”
Todd Frazier was fine Wednesday after Chicago’s Yolmer Sanchez spiked him near the knee Tuesday. Callaway slotted him in at DH, which he said he had planned to do once this series anyway. … Ron Swoboda, a member of the World Series champion 1969 Mets, was discharged from a hospital Tuesday after successful heart bypass surgery. “Ron is resting comfortably in his home and says he will be ready for spring training,” the Mets wrote in a tweet.
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