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Mets return Robert Gsellman to bullpen after four unimpressive starts

Mets manager Luis Rojas takes the ball from

Mets manager Luis Rojas takes the ball from starting pitcher Robert Gsellman during the second inning against the Yankees in an MLB baseball game at Citi Field on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Mets’ rotation Robert Gsellman experiment is over.

After four starts and an 8.68 ERA, Gsellman is back in the bullpen, manager Luis Rojas announced Sunday. The righthander pitched past the second inning just once in those outings.

The hope now is that Gsellman, who had a 4.45 ERA as a reliever in 2018-19, can bolster the relief corps.

The Mets will roll with a starting five of Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo, David Peterson (Monday), Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha (Tuesday).

“We’d rather have those five and take back Gsellman to the bullpen, where we need a lot of help,” Rojas said. “Gsellman can definitely help our bullpen now bouncing back. He came in and we tried to get some help for the starting rotation because we were really in a lot of adversity at the moment.”

The Mets tried Gsellman as a starter last month when their rotation was in shambles due to injuries and ineffectiveness. But with Peterson and Wacha having returned from the injured list and Lugo successfully making the transition to starting pitcher — after team officials initially passed over him for the promotion in favor of Gsellman — the club no longer had a need.

Lugo, who allowed one run in five innings against the Phillies on Saturday, did what Gsellman was unable to do. Why?

“All [of Lugo’s] pitches are more consistent. They have more effectiveness,” Rojas said. “With G, the command was one thing and the other thing was he didn’t have his sinker as much as in the past. There were some pitches that weren’t getting exactly the same action as we would like, he would like to get behind.”

Extra bases

Amed Rosario’s benching continued as Andres Gimenez started a third consecutive game at shortstop. “We talked about staying ready whenever he gets the chance,” Rojas said. “His response is, ‘OK, I’ll be ready.’” .  . . The Mets put righthander Franklyn Kilome on the IL with a split fingernail on Saturday. He had been optioned to the alternate site Wednesday, but the injury suffered while with the major-league team negates that transaction .   .  . Pete Alonso was the DH on Sunday for the fifth time in nine starts.

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