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Mets bullpen takes hit with Drew Smith, Arodys Vizcaino battling injuries

Drew Smith Mets
Mets reliever Drew Smith may not be ready for Opening Day should he make the big-league roster.
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Mets manager Luis Rojas on Sunday revealed a pair of relievers dealing with injury issues less than two weeks before Opening Day.

Arodys Vizcaino is dealing with lateral elbow soreness while Drew Smith has right shoulder soreness.

Vizcaino is “progressing and throwing,” per Rojas and is expected to return to the mound next weekend — the final days of spring training.

The 30-year-old right-hander is looking to re-spark his career in New York after undergoing surgery on the labrum of his shoulder back in 2019.

He had been a serviceable bullpen arm for the Atlanta Braves, posting a 2.77 ERA in 184 appearances from 2015-2019.

The outlook for Smith, however, is not as optimistic.

“He’s also progressing in his throwing. I don’t have a timeline when he’ll be back and throwing in games,” Rojas said. “We expect him to navigate through this and get back to action… We feel good that he’s in the progression of throwing and we’ll see when that day will be.”

Smith was expected to compete for one of the last spots of the Mets’ rotation this spring and had pitched well, allowing just one hit and no runs with three strikeouts in three innings of work.

The 27-year-old returned from Tommy John surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2019 season last year where he struggled, posting a 6.43 ERA in eight outings with six runs (five earned) in just seven innings pitched.

“His stuff was really good, he added a cutter, slider to his mix,” Rojas said. “We were really cautious with his arm as well, knowing it was his first year bouncing back from [Tommy John surgery] and knowing it was an atypical year as well.

“Coming into this camp, he was ready to go and told me some of the things he worked on in taking the stress off his arm… We still know he has the stuff to get outs and be a valuable piece for us.”

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