Latest Mets injury could be just as detrimental as the loss of Francisco Alvarez

The Mets lost one of their best bullpen arms over the weekend and probably won't be able to directly replace what he can do.
Detroit Tigers v New York Mets - Game One
Detroit Tigers v New York Mets - Game One / Rich Schultz/GettyImages

The New York Mets had been doing pretty well at avoiding injuries. Unfortunately, they leave Dodger Stadium with two important pieces on the IL. Francisco Alvarez left Friday’s game early. Much quieter was the departure of Brooks Raley to the IL for the next two weeks.

The lack of concern over the injury is a nice change from the way the Mets talked about Alvarez’s thumb. Nonetheless, the Mets will have to navigate games late without one of their best relievers.

Lost behind the phenomenal performance they’ve gotten from Reed Garrett is how good Raley has been. Throwing 7 scoreless with only 2 hits allowed and a whole lot of strikeouts, his loss will be just as big.

What’s the Mets plan while they’re missing Brooks Raley?

The team called up Grant Hartwig to replace Raley, but that’s hardly a permanent solution on the roster for the duration of the injury. Hartwig was probably the most available either rest or location-wise. There is undoubtedly another reliever already with the team as part of the taxi squad.

The Mets do have a couple of lefties they could consider for the spot. Jake Diekman will be the one to take on those big later matchups. In earlier instances, Josh Walker is probably the first one the Mets would turn to. He got roughed around in the majors last season, but a 1.84 ERA in Triple-A in 2023 and a 2.79 ERA to begin this year are promising for a short term “solution.”

Other lefties available in Syracuse include starter Joey Lucchesi (they won’t call him up for a relief role) and two guys not on the 40-man roster, Nate Lavender and Danny Young.

Lavender has a 3.86 ERA in 7 innings with a strikeout per. He hasn’t dazzled early on this year in the minors so we probably shouldn’t expect them to rush him to the major leagues. Young, on the other hand, has a 1.69 ERA in 5.1 innings with only 1 walk and 8 strikeouts in the early going. Calling up either of them would require an additional roster move. The Mets only recently DFA’d fellow southpaws Tyler Jay and Kolton Ingram with the former passing through waivers and returning. Ingram remains in limbo.

Most likely, this isn’t a spot the Mets get too diehard about keeping one guy in. It might’ve actually saved Michael Tonkin from his next DFA although many will agree the patience has grown so thin it can’t stop talking about its new diet.

Losing Alvarez stings. Not having Raley for some of those big late outs might be where the Mets could more noticeably lose games.