Lefty reliever Tim Byrdak has been placed on the 15-day DL with a sore left shoulder. In his place, the Mets have activated Frank Francisco from the DL. He has been out since June with an oblique injury.
Byrdak, 38, has pitched in 56 games this season, the most in the major leagues. In 30.2 innings, Byrdak has 34 strikeouts and a 4.40 ERA.
This is a really tough loss for the Mets. Just when it seems that they finally have the right balance of lefties and righties in the bullpen, Byrdak gets hurt. He has been key in striking out some of the left-handed sluggers in late-game situations this season. Now, that role will belong to Josh Edgin.
Hopefully the Mets will be able to have another left-handed specialist in the bullpen soon. C.J. Nitkowski is slowly but surely making his way back to the big league club. Having just one lefty available each night makes the job of Terry Collins that much tougher. He has to decide whether to use him in a key spot in the sixth or seventh, or wait, thinking that the team may need him later on. It has cost the Mets big time on a few occasions this season.
Byrdak will have an MRI on Monday in New York.