The banged-up New York Mets got a bit healthier on Monday as first baseman Pete Alonso, outfielder Kevin Pillar, and reliever Seth Lugo were all activated from the injured list. The moves occur just in time for a nine-game road swing that will see the Mets play three games against the Diamondbacks starting Monday followed by four against the Padres and two against the Orioles.
Alonso, 26, hasn't played since May 18 because of a right wrist sprain. Prior to the injury, he had hit .236/.336/.433 (117 OPS+) with six home runs in 149 plate appearances. The Mets have, over the past week, taken to using catcher James McCann as their starting first baseman. Alonso's should put an end to that, with McCann going back to splitting catching duties.
Pillar suffered multiple facial fractures after being hit in the face with a pitch in mid-May. He hit .250/.294/.388 (92 OPS+) with two homers and two steals in 28 games before the incident. Pillar is expected to wear protective gear in his return.
As for Lugo, 31, he's been out since undergoing surgery in February to remove bone chips from his elbow. He'll work out of the bullpen for the Mets, but he also has experience starting should he be needed in the rotation at some point. Over the last three seasons, he's pitched to a 3.10 ERA and 4.70 K/BB ratio in 12 starts and 119 relief appearances.
The three vets were added back to the mix amid a flurry of Monday moves:
Sean Reid-Foley, Patrick Mazeika & Khalil Lee - optioned to Triple-A— New York Mets (@Mets) May 31, 2021
Cameron Maybin & Sam McWilliams - DFA'd
Pete Alonso & Kevin Pillar - activated from the 10-Day IL
Seth Lugo - activated from the 60-Day IL
Mason Williams - selected to major league roster & active tonight pic.twitter.com/rtBShK6gh7
The Mets entered the week with a majors-leading 17 players on the injured list, per Spotrac. According to Baseball Prospectus's calculations, no team has lost more production to the IL than the Mets have, with injuries costing them an estimated four wins.
Despite the injury woes, the Mets come into Monday's slate with a 25-20 record and a 3 1/2-game lead in the National League East. The NL East happens to be the tightest division, from top to bottom, in the majors. The gap between the Mets and the last-place Washington Nationals entering the day was six games; the second-tightest division, per that same method, was the American League West, in which the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers are split by nine games.