LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- A potential bullpen injury is threatening to weaken the Mets in an already thin corner of their roster.
Josh Edgin, the Mets' only left-handed reliever with legitimate job security, had an MRI on Tuesday to diagnose what he described as general elbow "discomfort." Manager Terry Collins said after Monday's game that he was concerned about Edgin's fastball velocity, which sat in the upper 80s. Experiencing a similar velocity drop last spring, Edgin rebounded to average more than 92 mph on his fastball in the regular season.
"When Josh Edgin is pitching good, he's throwing 93 mph," Collins said. "That's enough to throw it by somebody, and now his slider becomes more effective. If the hitter doesn't worry about you getting your fastball by him, they settle on his offspeed stuff."
The Mets were still awaiting the results of Edgin's MRI as of late Tuesday afternoon.
If Edgin is unable to break camp with the team, the Mets may struggle to find a replacement lefty specialist. Though left-handed relievers Dario Alvarez and Jack Leathersich are both on the 40-man roster, the team would prefer sending them to Triple-A Las Vegas for more seasoning -- particularly Leathersich, who boasts no big league experience and has struggled with his control in the Minors. General manager Sandy Alderson has also been clear that lefty starting pitching prospect Steven Matz is off limits for an Opening Day bullpen assignment.
That leaves Sean Gilmartin, a Rule 5 Draft pick who gave up three runs in one inning Monday, and non-roster invitee Scott Rice. Gilmartin was already a strong bet to make the team as a second lefty reliever, making him a favorite if Edgin is not ready. He was unscored upon in one Grapefruit League outing and one intrasquad appearance prior to Monday's game.
"You've got Rice, you've got Alvarez, you've got Gilmartin -- guys that have all relieved," Collins said. "We'll have to see if one of them steps up."
Alderson spoke early this offseason of bringing in a left-handed reliever on a Major League contract, but settled instead for drafting Gilmartin and signing Rice to a Minor League deal.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.