Leathersich to return when Carlyle hits DL

Leathersich to return when Carlyle hits DL

CHICAGO -- Mets reliever Buddy Carlyle's back injury has opened the door for Jack Leathersich's return to the big leagues, less than two weeks after his Minor League demotion.

Carlyle has been battling back spasms since Monday's loss to the Cubs, when he left the game early and needed help descending Wrigley Field's dugout steps. Though Carlyle's injury is not necessarily major, the Mets have logged heavy bullpen innings lately and could ill afford to play with a shorthanded relief corps for any significant amount of time.

As a result, Leathersich left Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday afternoon, with plans to join the Mets before Thursday's series finale at Wrigley. Carlyle's DL move will become official at that time.

Leathersich, 24, appeared in two games during his first stint with the Mets, pitching a total of one scoreless inning. A strikeout specialist in the Minor Leagues, the left-hander had 20 punchouts over 11 1/3 innings at Vegas. Though the Mets also considered promoting right-handers Chasen Bradford or Zack Thornton, Leathersich -- the organization's No. 19 prospect, per MLB.com -- held an advantage due to his status on the 40-man roster.

Carlyle, 37, owned a 5.63 ERA in 11 games with the Mets.

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.