Mets select Matt Festa and Tyler Jay; Duke Ellis is designated

The Mets announced a number of changes to the roster, including the news that right-hander Matt Festa and left-handed Tyler Jay have had their contracts selected by Triple-A Syracuse. The two pitchers will fill the 26-man roster spots that were created when Thomas B. And Danielle Young were transferred to Triple-A yesterday. To make room in the 40-man squad, the Mets designated outfielder Duke Ellis for the task, and moved left-handed Brooks Raley (who underwent Tommy John surgery last month) from the 15-day injured list to the 60-day injured list.

Festa and Jay will bring some fresh pitching to the struggling Mets bullpen. Young was pitching well last week before hitting a downturn, as the left-hander allowed two earned runs in each of his last three appearances. That pushed Young’s ERA to 5.11 in 12 1/3 innings after posting a sparkling 0.87 ERA in his first 10 1/3 innings.

Young threw 1 1/3 innings in New York’s 9-6 loss to the Astros yesterday, and Megill started and allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings. Megill has a 5.08 ERA in 39 innings and eight starts, with all but one of those starts coming after a seven-week stint on the IL due to a shoulder strain.

With Megill struggling, his demotion was seen as an opportunity for the Mets to bring in relief players from Triple-A over the next four days. Will Sammon of The Athletic expects the Mets to bring Christian Scott or Jose Butto into the rotation to take Megill’s place. The team may need to move several pitchers through the rotation and bullpen to get through a difficult stretch of the schedule. Last Thursday was the Mets’ last day off until the All-Star break, as the club has completed two games of a streak of 17 games in as many days.

Festa now faces his first major league appearance in the 2024 season, and the Brooklyn native has the advantage of pitching close to home. Festa, 31, signed a minor league deal with the Mets last month after being released from his minor league contract with the Padres when a 4.50 ERA in 16 innings with San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate failed to catch the Friars’ attention. Festa has done quite well in Syracuse, however, posting a 1.76 ERA in 15 1/3 relief innings. A veteran of four MLB seasons with the Mariners, Festa has a 4.32 ERA over 93 2/3 career frames in the show.

Jay is back in the major leagues for the second time this season after New York designated him for assignment and then sent the left-hander straight to Triple-A after he threw four innings in two appearances with the Mets in April. Those two games were Jay’s first experience in the MLB, as the sixth overall pick in the 2015 draft finally made it to the major leagues after a long journey marked by injuries and stints in independent ball.

There’s more to come…