While they haven't experienced the kind of injury troubles from last season quite yet, or that of the crosstown-rival Yankees this year, the New York Mets have placed reliever Anthony Swarzak on the 10-day disabled list due to a strained oblique.
The 32-year-old was a key addition to the Mets bullpen this offseason, the team signing him to a two-year, $14 million deal over the winter.
It was a sizeable reward for the veteran, who was coming off the finest season of his eight-year career in 2017. With the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers, the right-hander posted a 2.33 ERA in 77.1 innings of work while striking out 91 batters.
In 2.1 innings of work with the Mets during the early portions of this season, Swarzak allowed one run, a solo home run to St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter.
Now with a valuable arm sidelined, the Mets were forced to call up Hansel Robles from triple-A Las Vegas, a move that will make many Mets fans cringe.
The 27-year-old Robles had a clear opportunity to make the big club this spring training despite coming off the worst campaign of his career. In 2017, he allowed 31 earned runs and 10 home runs in just 56.2 innings for a 4.96 ERA.
His spring training was even worse as he allowed 12 earned runs on 17 hits, including five home runs, for a 9.26 ERA. Sticking to his word of rewarding the best spring performers, new manager Mickey Callaway left Robles off the Mets Opening Day roster.
Robles might be nothing more than a depth option that Callaway would have to turn to in desperation as New York's bullpen should be deep enough to limit his outings. Through the first three games of the season, the Mets have used five other relievers besides Swarzak.
Look for Robert Gsellman to be Callaway's main righty to come out of the pen before the eighth or ninth inning as that honor is reserved for AJ Ramos and Jeurys Familia. A former starter, Gsellman has been sterling in his early stint as the team's sixth and seventh-inning man as he's struck out four of seven batters faced.