Right-hander pulled from starting unit after allowing 8 runs on 4 homers to Padres
By Troy Provost-Heron
NEW YORK -- When Logan Verrett was tagged for six runs in 3 2/3 innings by the Tigers on Saturday, the Mets discussed the possibility of replacing him in the rotation.
Ultimately, the club opted to have the right-hander face the Padres on Friday, but after he surrendered eight runs on four home runs and three walks over 2 2/3 innings in the Mets' 8-6 loss, there was no further dialogue. Mets manager Terry Collins pulled the plug.
"The one thing you ask from those kind of guys is quality innings," Collins said. "You're not expecting him to go out there and shut teams out. The home run ball has certainly been a big problem for him, and when he walks guys, they are scoring.
"I know he's upset about it, but we certainly have to make a change there."
Jonathon Niese, who was acquired from the Pirates for right-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo at the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Aug. 1, will likely fill the void. The left-hander is currently dealing with discomfort in his left knee due to a draining procedure he underwent in Pittsburgh, but the Mets believe the injury is one he can pitch through.
"We think that [the discomfort] started when he went to the bullpen," Collins said. "He told me yesterday -- I was unaware that it was bothering him as much as it had been -- but they drained it, and we gave him some medication and he said he felt great today.
"We just think that if we start him he won't have to deal with the wear-and-tear of getting up and down, and in between starts that knee will have a chance to recover."
As a Pirate, Niese appeared in 23 games (18 starts) and went 8-6 with a 4.91 ERA. Since joining the Mets, he's made four relief appearances, giving up seven runs over six innings while walking five and striking out six. He made 29 starts for the Mets last season, going 9-10 with a 4.16 ERA in those outings.
In seven starts since becoming a full-time member of the Mets' rotation, Verrett posted a 1-3 record with a 7.18 ERA. On Friday he became the first Mets pitcher to give up four home runs in one game since Bartolo Colon on April 13, 2014.
Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.