SAN DIEGO — The Mets claimed lefthander Buddy Baumann off waivers Friday from the Padres, adding another depth bullpen option to their stash at Triple-A Las Vegas.
Baumann joins Jerry Blevins, who has allowed seven of 15 lefthanded hitters to reach base this year, as the only southpaw relievers on the 40-man roster.
Manager Mickey Callaway said Baumann, 30, and designated for assignment by San Diego on Tuesday, has a high spin rate on his fastball, which helps him against lefties.
“Any time you can take advantage of that, it puts our organization in a better spot as far as depth goes,” Callaway said.
Callaway indicated he doesn’t believe it’s necessary to carry two lefthanders in the bullpen because other Mets relievers have done well against lefthanded hitters, but it’s good to have another option. Robert Gsellman has held them to 0-for-18, Paul Sewald 1-for-15 (a drastic change from his record last year).
Baumann pitched in 35 games for the Padres the past three seasons, posting a 3.58 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. Lefties have slashed .163/.321/.256 against him. Righties have a .228/.313/.421 slash line.
The Mets moved David Wright from the 10-day to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Baumann on the 40-man roster.
The Mets recalled reliever Jacob Rhame from Las Vegas, optioning righthander Corey Oswalt (4 2/3 innings in his major-league debut Wednesday) in his place. The Mets will need to make another move when they activate Jason Vargas for his season debut Saturday.
This was the fifth time the Mets called up a fresh arm for the bullpen — about one every five games, in line with a trend around the game to cycle relievers up and down.
“Teams are paying more attention to trying to have more optionable relievers on their team,” Callaway said. “In the past, if you had everybody on a guaranteed major-league deal, you can [run] into a problem. You had to get rid of somebody, and that somebody might’ve ended up being a pretty good pitcher.”