With lots of debate surrounding the state of a tumultuous back-end of the rotation, relief is on the way in the form of Jason Vargas. The 35-year old southpaw is set to make his season debut tonight against the Padres, after missing the beginning of the season from surgery to repair a broken right hand that he suffered from getting struck by a line-drive in Spring Training.
The Mets have chosen to recall Jacob Rhame to Triple-A Las Vegas in order to place Jason Vargas on the 25-man roster. Rhame has struggled out of the bullpen to begin this season, pitching a 7.36 ERA and a 9.99 FIP in four relief appearances.
Vargas was signed to a 2-year/$16 million deal by the Mets just before the beginning of Spring Training in February, just a season removed from being named an All-Star for the first time in his career. Vargas finished the 2017 season with an 18-11 record, and a 4.16 ERA.
Vargas’s recovery process has been gradual, as he made his first rehab start since the injury on Monday night. Vargas pitched four innings, allowing three hits and three runs while pitching for the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, Las Vegas 51s.
With Matt Harvey’s recent demotion to the bullpen, plus the concerns surrounding Steven Matz’s pitching ability, Vargas’s return to action could not occur at a better time. He is set to make his first start of the season tonight, when he will face LHP Joey Lucchesi (2-1, 2.70 ERA).
Photo Credit: Anthony J. Causi