ATLANTA — Considering that he is out indefinitely with a stress reaction in his left foot, Dominic Smith seems to have enjoyed himself plenty the past couple of weeks.
The Mets have been winning, which helps, and he has embraced his status as team cheerleader, starting “Let’s go Mets” chants from the dugout and riding around on his scooter, which features a miniature license plate that incorporates the Mets’ new rallying cry: “LFGM2019.”
The scooter could be more perfect, though.
“I need a little bell,” Smith said. “Sometimes I sneak up on people and they don’t see me coming. I pick up some pretty good steam on the scooter, so they gotta watch out a little bit. I need a bell, maybe some spinning wheels. A back license plate maybe will go well, too.”
Smith noted, though, that he would rather have never needed the scooter. Friday will mark three weeks since he last played, and his next doctor visit isn’t for “a couple of weeks,” which means more time in the walking boot.
It’s no certainty that Smith will return this season, but while he is out he has been trying to stay strong with upper-body workouts, cycling and “BFR” — blood flow restriction training, which helps him maintain leg strength while he is less mobile.
“It’s very, very awful,” Smith said. “Rehab sucks.”
But this week, as the Mets play the Braves and Royals, they let Smith and Robinson Cano (torn left hamstring) join them on the road, which isn’t always the case for injured players. Jed Lowrie hasn’t been seen since mid-April as he deals with various leg injuries, and Brandon Nimmo has been similarly out of sight since he went on the injured list May 22.
Smith said he asked “plenty of times” to go on the last trip — Chicago and Pittsburgh — but general manager Brodie Van Wagenen decided he’d stay in New York. A little lobbying from his teammates and the lack of a certain lively dugout and clubhouse presence changed that this time.
“[Other Mets] said they pretty much missed me, missed the energy I brought every day. Brodie saw that and felt that,” Smith said. “Just to get back around the boys and feel like I’m a part of it because I’m in the dugout and cheering them on, it’s fun.
“No matter who goes down, if they’re not with the team, we kind of feel that and we miss that. I know I’m not able to help the team playing, but there’s still the energy I bring. They love being around me and I love being around them.”
Surgery for Rhame
Righthander Jacob Rhame is done for the season after having ulnar nerve transposition surgery Tuesday.
In three stints with the Mets, Rhame had a 4.26 ERA in five relief appearances (and served a one-game suspension for an April incident with Rhys Hoskins and the Phillies). He went on the IL Aug. 4 with right elbow discomfort — caused by the nerve issue, which also necessitated a six-week stint on the minor-league IL in May and June.
Jacob deGrom had the same surgery in 2016.
The Mets promoted righthander Drew Gagnon from Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday, sending righthander Chris Mazza down in his place.
Mazza spent 11 days with the major-league team but did not pitch, mostly because the Mets have been getting plenty of innings from the rotation. Because of the long layoff, the Mets preferred an arm that had pitched more recently. Hence Gagnon, who on Thursday took a perfect game into the eighth.
“That’s what we have to do with this spot, just to keep somebody we know is going to come in and feel like they’ve gotten some work lately to be effective,” Mickey Callaway said.
The Mets have considered adding another bench player but prefer carrying a long reliever in case of an emergency with a starter, Callaway said. The Mets’ offensively light bench Tuesday was Joe Panik, Luis Guillorme, Tomas Nido and Aaron Altherr. “And it’s not like we would use that extra bench player over one of our bench players that’s here right now,” Callaway said. … The Mets entered their series with the Braves with 176 homers. The franchise record for a season is 224 in 2017.