After the conclusion of Thursday night's Triple-A Buffalo game, pitcher Jack Egbert was told to make sure he had his phone nearby, as he could be line for a promotion. About an hour later, Bisons manager Wally Backman was on the line, telling Egbert to pack his bags for Flushing.
The Mets purchased Egbert's contract before Friday night's game against the Padres. The team had claimed the right-hander off waivers in 2009, but he missed all of 2010 with Tommy John surgery and had to work his way back to the majors.
"It's awesome," Egbert said. "Obviously I had a good opportunity a couple of years ago when they claimed me. Getting hurt at the end of spring was disappointing and having a year off was tough, but I tried to keep a good attitude. I did pretty well did toward the end of last year and this year started out pretty well. It's really nice they had me in mind."
Egbert, a Staten Island native who attended Rutgers, has only appeared in two MLB games in his career, both with the White Sox in 2009. The Mets claimed him that year off waivers, but the surgery nearly halted his career. He was 2-3 with a 2.08 ERA in 17 games for the Bisons this season.
"As time goes by, I think it was toward the end of February, and I still didn't have a job, you kind of think one setback and it might not happen," Egbert said about the battle back from the surgery. "Luckily the Mets gave me another opportunity and my rehab has gone as scheduled."
The 29-year-old said he can do whatever the team asks of him out of the bullpen, whether that be one inning of relief or serving as the long reliever. Manager Terry Collins called Egbert a multiple-innings pitcher with a good sinker. He can pitch two innings Friday, if needed.
Egbert's excited to be able to pitch close to where he grew up and said his friends and family have been texting him over the past 24 hours.
"I grew up here and I know how involved the fans are and really New York sports in general," Egbert said. "It's just a whole another level. To grow up around that and then get away from it and come back, it's exciting for me."