Friday, October 7 2022

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Heading into the start of the Mets‘ season, the dynamic one-two punch at the top of the Mets’ rotation was supposed to provide the solution for an extended playoff drought.

But now, less than a week before Opening Day, there are more questions than answers about the status of those pitchers.

One day after Jacob deGrom missed his final start of the spring and was sidelined from throwing for at least four weeks, Max Scherzer missed a scheduled start in a simulated game due to hamstring tightness.

While deGrom will be on the shelf for at least a month with a stress reaction in his right scapula, Scherzer downplayed his hamstring injury which propped up after he went for a run late in the week.

New York Mets' Max Scherzer flips the ball around in the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Monday, March 21, 2022, in Jupiter, Fl. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)New York Mets' Max Scherzer flips the ball around in the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Monday, March 21, 2022, in Jupiter, Fl. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

New York Mets’ Max Scherzer flips the ball around in the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Monday, March 21, 2022, in Jupiter, Fl. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

“I think this is a little hiccup,” Scherzer said. “I’ve just got to address it, so I’m working with the training staff to identify what’s causing it because it’s frustrating.

“I’ve really worked hard this offseason to lift my legs heavy, do all the running, I feel like I was in a really good spot with my body and my arm. It’s frustrating to have my arm be at this point and have a little hiccup in the way.”

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Instead, Miguel Castro was there in his place on the mound for the top of the first inning during the simulated game.

Scherzer said the injury does not affect his pitching mechanics and he was still able to play catch on Saturday. He has not ruled out starting Opening Day, nor has manager Buck Showalter.

“It’s tough to sit here and say absolutely yes and absolutely no.” Scherzer said. “For me, it’s just a day-to-day thing. That’s how these things have presented itself in the past and how we treated it in the past. You do the rehab and most likely you get back out there pretty quick.

“That’s how the history of these little hiccups on the leg work. I’m hoping it’s the same thing, but when you’re dealing with hammys, you never know.”

Showalter said he would lean on discussions with Scherzer about how he feels before putting him out on the mound. He has thrown 11 combined innings this spring, including 72 pitches in his opening start and 90 in his second start.

“I’d lean on him,” Showalter said. “I mean, we’ve already talking about that. I know how he feels and he’s done a lot of work coming in here. And I think he’s already built up more volume than most people at this time.”

It has been a rough 24 hours for the Mets rotation, who were still grappling with the news of deGrom’s extended absence.

“It’s tough news to hear,” Scherzer said. “Just talking to him, he thought it was kind of minor and it turns out it’s a little bit more than minor for him to be shut down like that for a few weeks now without throwing. You’ve got to address that. For him, it’s trying to figure out this injury, figure out exactly what this is and attack it with everything you’ve got.”

Now, Showalter must pivot to try and remedy the situation in the starting rotation.

Chris Bassett is still lined up to start the Mets’ game against the Marlins on Sunday, with Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker falling in line after that.

“There’s a lot of variables that come into play that I can’t get into, but it’s kind of a moving target right now,” Showalter said. “I thought all three of those guys just continue down the path they’re on right now because the way it was built in there we could maneuver late in the spring if something like this presented itself.”

Tylor Megill and David Peterson have been stretch out to five innings and were featured in the starting rotation last season. Trevor Williams has pitched in two innings this spring.

In a report from The Athletic, the Mets were also rumored to be in discussions with the Padres for a deal for Chris Paddack and Eric Hosmer in exchange for Dom Smith.

But in the wide scheme, Showalter does not want to completely break down the rotation to build it back up.

“Just because something doesn’t happen on first game of season I’m not gonna put the whole thing in disarray for one spot or even two spots,” Showalter said. “The guys are creatures of habit and I’m anxious to hear other people weigh in on it. Right now, we’re just trying to get our arms around (Scherzer’s) health and see where we are at the end of the each day.”

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Mets’ Max Scherzer Opening Day in question with hamstring issue

Source: Yahoo Sports

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