In a surprising move, the Mets have optioned Brandon Nimmo to the minors in order to recall pitcher Corey Oswalt. The Mets are now carrying nine, count ’em, nine arms in the bullpen.
Nimmo is batting .333 (3-9), but with Michael Conforto coming back earlier than expected, Nimmo is riding the bench. Perhaps the Mets think it is better for him to get at bats in Las Vegas than get rusty in the big leagues.
The Mets are 8-1 so they do not deserve criticism, but the reliance on the bullpen could come back to bite them as the season wears on. Carrying so many relievers means a short four-man bench, which could leave the team lacking pinch hitters in critical situations.
I’m guessing the Mets are looking into trading Juan Lagares. Nimmo can easily slide into his fourth outfielder role and the team can save his $6.5 million salary (not to mention the $9 million Lagares is due next season). That’s money that can be spent on fortifying the team down the stretch — probably for more relievers!