Mets decide to send Young to make room for Diaz

Mets decide to send Young to make room for Diaz

The night before Edwin Diaz returned from the injured list, the Mets had a tough decision to make.

Which pitcher was going to be sent to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for him before Thursday’s series finale against Miami? The leading candidates with minor league options were left-hander Danny Young and right-hander Dedniel Nunez.

Nunez went 2 1/3 innings and threw 29 pitches in Wednesday’s 10-4 win over Miami. In the cold world of baseball transactions, that could have made him the one fired because he wouldn’t be available for the Mets on Thursday and maybe even Friday after that long outing.

But the Mets wanted to reward excellence rather than workload. Nunez struck out five and didn’t allow a baserunner in those 2 1/3 innings. It continued a streak of efficiency from the 28-year-old, who has a 2.30 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings.

So after Wednesday’s game, manager Carlos Mendoza asked Young to pack his bags, even though the 30-year-old has been just as effective as Nunez in fewer appearances. Young is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 12 strikeouts in nine innings for the Mets this season.

“It’s not easy,” Mendoza said. “We knew before the game (Wednesday) that we were going to be faced with a pretty tough decision. But watching Nunez go multiple innings and the way he threw the ball, it’s not easy to (send out) a guy like that who can give you multiple innings with a lead and continue to dominate.

“Obviously Danny Young was great. He’s a guy who gets not only lefties out, but righties as well, and his ability to take the ball day in and day out (is valuable). But he obviously understood where we were in terms of the bullpen, with not a lot of guys having options.

The Mets’ record may not reflect it, but they’ve been faced with this type of conundrum several times in recent weeks. Is it possible the Mets have too many good players?

Catcher Luis Torrens and infielder Jose Iglesias, both veterans, continued to earn big league salaries by impressing the Mets after being added to the roster.

Torrens, 28, entered Thursday with a .313 batting average with two homers in six games. Iglesias, 34, was hitting .435 in eight games.

Torrens’ performance cost Tomas Nido his place in the team when Francisco Alvarez returned from the injured list on Tuesday.

Iglesias, who was called up May 31, kept Brett Baty at Triple-A. Baty made his first career appearance at second base for Syracuse on Thursday in an effort to increase his versatility.

Mendoza keeps saying of Baty, “He’ll come back,” but it’s hard to see where that spot on the team will come from, with Iglesias thriving as a part-time second baseman sharing his time with Jeff McNeil and Mark Vientos getting the third goal. job. Vientos entered Thursday with a .321 average and five homers.

Christian Scott is another player the Mets view as a big league player but are hiding at Triple-A. Scott, the right-hander who turns 25 on Saturday, has impressed in his first five major league starts.

But with Tylor Megill and David Peterson healthy, the Mets are starting Scott on a reduced schedule in Syracuse (60 pitches per outing) in order to save his pitching for future duty with the Mets.

As for Nunez, the Mets signed him in 2016. It took him until this season to make his big league debut. Having a spot on the roster – and keeping it – means a lot to the older-than-normal rookie.

“Every day is a new opportunity,” Nunez said through a translator. “So even if you are successful, you have to go out the next day, and if you have that opportunity, you have to take advantage of the opportunity because the day before doesn’t matter. It’s already happened.