MIAMI — Fresh off another bullpen blowup, the Mets chose to have Seth Lugo return to relieving.
They called up righthander Corey Oswalt from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Lugo in the rotation, the belief being that this arrangement best positions them to win.
“We’ve been struggling in our pen and we think he’s a good presence down there, a good option,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “We feel at this point, where we’re at as a team, that we’re a better team with Lugo in the bullpen, being available to help us out there.”
Lugo wasn’t thrilled with the reassignment but understood the thinking. He has a 2.27 ERA as a reliever (21 games) and a 3.52 ERA as a starter (five games) this year. The latter includes a couple of rough recent outings in which he was plagued by a minor mechanical issue that he believes he identified and fixed.
Entering Friday, the Mets’ bullpen had the most losses in the majors (21) and ranked 26th in ERA (4.83). That included a 6.55 ERA in the past 32 games.
Oswalt went to Miami with the intention of starting Saturday but got bumped up to Friday on about three hours’ notice when Jacob deGrom had to handle a “family issue,” Callaway said. DeGrom will start Saturday.
When the Mets head to Toronto on Sunday, they plan for Noah Syndergaard (strained right index finger) and David Wright (back, shoulder, neck issues) to head to Port St. Lucie to continue their rehabilitation programs.
Syndergaard faced hitters during two simulated innings Friday at Marlins Park and is expected to get at least one rehab start before returning. Wright continued his baseball activities — taking batting practice, fielding grounders — and still is a ways away from a potential return, but the fact that he is with the team on the road represents progress.
“It’s more real than if he wasn’t here,” Callaway said. “Now that he’s taking BP and stuff like that, it feels like he’s closer.”
The Mets are rolling with four starters. They hope that by the next time they need a fifth starter — a July 9 doubleheader against the Phillies — lefthander Jason Vargas (strained right calf) could be ready to return . . . Michael Conforto was reveling in Oregon State’s College World Series championship, catching up with coach Pat Casey via phone. He was a Beaver for three seasons before the Mets picked him in the 2014 draft.