MILWAUKEE — Beleaguered by overuse and ineffectiveness, the Mets’ bullpen now is dealing with injuries — including the sore left elbow of Luis Avilan, who was put on the 10-day injured list Saturday.
Avilan headed back to New York to be evaluated by doctors, and manager Mickey Callaway said he wasn’t sure of the injury’s seriousness. On Friday, Avilan complained of elbow tightness and came out of the game during an inning.
“Even when we’re not throwing a lot of innings, it seems like we have to go get somebody [from the minors],” Callaway said. “But that’s how bullpens go. Guys need to adjust, certain guys need to step up at certain times, and I feel like they will.’’
Chris Flexen, who spent one day with the Mets last month, got the call from Triple-A Syracuse and wound up taking the loss Saturday night as the Mets fell to the Brewers, 4-3, in 18 innings. The Mets picked him over other candidates, including Tim Peterson (three innings, 48 pitches Wednesday) and Tyler Bashlor (pitched Thursday and Friday), in part because he was rested.
“We feel at this point he can come up here and give us the best innings,” Callaway said. “Last time he was up here, we saw pretty good stuff coming out of the arm, 95-96 [mph] with a really good slider.”
The Mets’ use of Avilan (9.28 ERA) has differed from his career norm as a lefthanded specialist.
Last season, for example, he pitched to two or fewer batters in 30 of his 70 games. This year, as the Mets have used Avilan as a one-inning-or-more reliever, he has faced two or fewer batters in two of his 11 games.
Callaway said he “can’t speculate” about whether the heavier use led to the arm problem.
Of the seven relievers on the Mets’ Opening Day roster, three remain: Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. Hurt are Avilan, Jeurys Familia (right shoulder) and Justin Wilson (left elbow). Peterson is in Syracuse.
Because of no setup men in front of Diaz, Callaway said he prefers not to use Lugo and Gsellman on the same day, but doesn’t rule it out.
Brandon Nimmo was 0-for-17 and his slash line was down to .211/.342/.347 when Callaway decided not to start him Saturday. He wound up going 0-for-5 in the Mets’ 18-inning loss.
“The one thing about Nim is he still gets his walks, so he’s still getting on base at times,” Callaway said. “He’s probably not decisive enough on when he wants to [swing]. That’s kind of what we’ve seen when things aren’t going great this year. But he’ll snap out of it.”
Wilson looked good in his 20-pitch live batting practice session Saturday, Callaway said. The Mets could decide as soon as Sunday when to activate him . . . Travis d’Arnaud, released by the Mets Friday, said his goodbye to the Mets’ community in an Instagram post Saturday. “It’s been an amazing journey to be a Met,” he wrote. “All the highs and the lows have made me into the person I am today. Thank you for welcoming a California kid into your city and treating me like family. I hope nothing but the best for the organization, staff, fans, and most importantly my teammates. Thank you for everything. I will forever be grateful.”