Kranick clears waivers, could lead to RailRiders meeting next week

Max Kranick is coming home, in more ways than one.

The former Valley View star who the New York Mets designated for assignment last week cleared waivers on Sunday night and was outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse.

That sends the right-hander back to Syracuse, where he was 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts before New York removed him from its 40-man roster. But, it also sets up the potential for perhaps a more personal homecoming next week.

The Triple-A Mets visit the RailRiders at PNC Field for a seven-game series that starts May 21, at 6:05 p.m. Though all of Kranick's first 24 Triple-A appearances have come in the International League, none occurred against the franchise who he watched play just miles from his hometown.

In January, the Mets claimed Kranick off waivers from the team that drafted him in the 11th round of the 2016 amateur draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates. They were hoping the hard-throwing Kranick could provide some veteran flexibility with a pitching staff that needed starters, and he did make nine in two seasons with Pittsburgh before undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing the second half of 2022 and most of 2023 as he recovered.

But, Kranick never really became an option for the Mets staff during spring training. He hit the injured list in early March with a hamstring strain and didn't get back on the mound in a competitive setting until an April 7 rehab outing for Class A St. Lucie in the Florida State League.

He made four rehab starts this season at St. Lucie and in Double-A Binghamton before the Mets optioned him to Syracuse on April 28.

Syracuse hosts the Iowa Cubs in a six-game series at NBT Bank Stadium that starts Tuesday.