Max Scherzer from six to eight weeks with oblique stretching


Max Scherzer from six to eight weeks with oblique stretching

The results of Max Scherzer‘s MRT’s are in and the news isn’t good for the Mets. The team announced Thursday that Scherzer has suffered “moderate to severe internal oblique strain” and is expected to miss six to eight weeks. He is placed on the injured list alongside Co-Ace Jacob de Grom (stress reaction in the scapula) and right-handers Tylor Megil (biceps inflammation).

It’s a brutal blow for the Mets, who sit at 25-14 and currently have a six-game lead over the second-ranked Phillies in the National League East. Scherzer sustained the injury last night when he threw a slider Albert Pujols, told reporters after the game that he had experienced some tightness before feeling a ‘zing’ down his side in last place to Pujols. The three-time Cy Young winner immediately called the training staff and could clearly see them saying “I’m done” as the staff reached the hill.

The Mets shattered a precedent to bring Scherzer to Queens by signing the 37-year-old right to a three-year, $130 million contract, giving him the highest annual salary in baseball history ($43.33 million -Dollar). Owner Steve Cohen and first-year general manager Billy Eppler certainly had visions of the game’s most impressive brace at the time and dreamed of a playoff rotation with Scherzer and deGrom.

It’s possible the duo could still lead the Mets staff in the postseason, but deGrom has yet to serve in 2022 thanks to that shoulder injury. The team announced earlier this week that their most recent MRI showed “continued healing,” but gave no timeline for its return. It’s now possible the Mets won’t have this vaunted duo healthy and on the same roster until after the All-Star break, pending Scherzer’s recovery.

Even in the absence of Scherzer, deGrom and Megill — whose injury should be downplayed given the strength of his early performance — the Mets still have a solid starting squad on paper. Chris Bassitt and Carlo Carrasco were outstanding early in the season, and the Mets did a quality job Taijuan Walker and (in more limited ways) left-handers David Petersen, to. It’s likely that Williams and Peterson will be the picks to follow the trio of Bassitt, Carrasco and Walker as the Mets navigate this latest series of injuries.

While this is a solid group, it obviously pales in comparison to a contingent of full-strength Mets starters. And what’s even more concerning, the depth beyond the current quintet is beginning to seem more questionable. Experienced left-hander Mike Montgomery is pitching with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate but has been marked by seven starts for a 5.52 ERA. Twenty five years old Thomas Szapucki was sharp through six Triple-A starts but has only gone 21 innings in those games. Right Jordan Yamamoto has historically been a depth option for the Mets, but he was removed from the 40-man roster earlier this season and is only just giving up his minor league debut – 1 2/3 shaky innings in High-A – after a lack of time the minor league injury list. Former angels on the right Felix Pena was signed on a minor league deal, but like Montgomery, he’s struggling with Triple-A.

Given the way injuries have already seeped into the depths of the team, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Mets were looking to the market for depth options. Big trades at this time of year are uncommon but not unheard of. Otherwise, the Mets could turn to some recent DFA weapons (eg Year cotton) or veterans who have recently opted for minor league free agency (ex Drew Hutchison, Carlo Martinez) in an effort to amass at least some experienced options in the upper undertones.

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