HOUSTON -- When the Mets committed to trading away many of their veteran players in July and August, they did so with an eye toward bolstering their late-inning relief. Whether it was Addison Reed, Lucas Duda or Curtis Granderson, the Mets turned expensive veterans into young, controllable right arms, acquiring hard-throwing relievers in each deal.
Saturday offered the Mets an early chance to see some of their return. Right-handers Jacob Rhame and Jamie Callahan made their Mets debuts in the 12-8 loss to the Astros one day after rosters expanded.
Rhame, 24, allowed a hit to the first batter he faced but recovered to pitch 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He was the return piece from the Mets' trade of Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers on Aug. 19.
"I've been wanting that since I was a kid," Rhame said. "It was cool to actually go out there and settle down, throw strikes. It was a lot of fun."
A sixth-round pick of the Dodgers in 2013, Rhame can pump his fastball up to triple digits, but he struggled in the Minors when forced to used his secondary pitches. He is the Mets' No. 23 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com.
Callahan, 23, did not experience quite the same initial success as his teammate, allowing hits to each of the first three batters he faced. A defensive error behind him hurt, though it resulted in one of the two runs against him being unearned. Callahan was part of a package of three relievers the Mets received from the Red Sox for Reed on July 31.
"It was the greatest thing ever," Callahan said of his debut, which his parents, siblings and fiancée flew in to watch. "The adrenaline was kicking. I was just trying to soak it all up."
Drafted by the Red Sox in the second round in 2012, Callahan converted into a reliever as a 20-year-old in 2015. He sports a fastball that reaches 96 mph and a hard cutter he uses as an offspeed pitch. He posted a 3.63 ERA and averaged 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings for three teams across two Minor League levels this season. He is ranked as New York's No. 30 prospect.
"They've got legitimate good arms, both of them," manager Terry Collins said. "It was nice to get them in there."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook. Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.