Injuries are an inevitable part of baseball. Over the course of 162 games, certain players will miss significant amounts of time for one health related issue or another. The best teams are able to survive and still compete despite certain players landing on the disabled list, and other players need to step up when one of their teammates go down. All that being said, doesn’t it seem like the Mets have been attacked by a swarm of injury bugs over the past few seasons?
Out of all the possible scenarios, yesterday’s MRI revealed the best possible result regarding Jose Reyes‘ hamstring: a grade one strain. The Amazins certainly dodged a bullet and it never seemed like the injury was that severe to begin with, but with David Wright, Ike Davis, Chris Young and Johan Santana already having missed significant portions of this season, it’s understandable why Mets fans were holding their collective breaths waiting the MRI results. After all, since 2007, the Mets have been burned too often by significant injuries to do anything else but automatically assume the worst. Here are some of the more glaring injuries that befell players wearing the blue and orange during the past few years.
Jose Reyes: After a few injuries in 2003-04, Reyes was a mainstay in the Mets lineup from 2005-08, averaging 158 games played per season. In ’09, however, Reyes played in only 36 games due to a host of leg problems, including a torn hamstring. The following year, Reyes began the season on the disabled list with a hyperactive thyroid, and also missed time due to an oblique strain. He’s been healthy this year until yesterday, but as mentioned above, he shouldn’t miss more than a week, if the Mets decide to keep him out through the All Star Break.
Carlos Beltran: Carlos was coming off of a fantastic three year stretch from 2006-08 and was off to another rollicking start in 2009. Before landing on the disabled list in late June, Beltran hit .336/.425/.527 with eight homers and eleven steals. Unfortunately, he became the latest in a slew of Mets to hit the shelf in 2009, and didn’t return to action until September 8th. He had surgery on his right knee the following offseason and didn’t play his first game of 2010 until July 15th. Beltran never really got going that season, but is back with a vengeance in 2011. Most importantly, he’s stayed on the field and somehow leads all Mets in games played with 82.
David Wright: Wright averaged 156 games per season from 2005-10, but has only played in 39 games this season due to a stress fracture in his back. He began hitting off a tee on Friday and could be back immediately following the All Star Break. If the Mets want to stay competitive, they need Wright back ASAP.
Ike Davis: The sophomore first baseman was having an excellent follow up to a solid rookie year. In 36 games, Davis was hitting .302/.383/.543 with seven home runs. On May 10th, he collided with Wright in Colorado, and while initially believed he would be back in a couple of weeks, Ike hasn’t made significant progress since the injury. He will attempt running this week, but may require surgery, which would end his season.
Johan Santana: Johan has pitched only one complete season while with the Mets (2008). His ’09 season ended early due to arthroscopic surgery on his elbow, and his ’10 season was cut short due to shoulder surgery, from which he is still recovering. His rehab has been going well enough, and if all goes according to plan, Santana could return some time in August. Another setback, however, could eliminate hope of him pitching in 2011.
Carlos Delgado: From 1996-2008, Delgado was one of the more durable players in the game, averaging 148 games per season. After struggling in the first half of 2008, the lefty slugger raked in the second half, hitting .303/.386/.606 with 21 long balls, helping to keep the Mets in the playoff race. He began ’09 in similar fashion, batting .298/.393/.521 with four dingers in 26 games. However, his season was cut short due to a hip injury which required surgery. It was initially reported that Delgado would miss ten weeks, but he has yet to play in the Majors since.
Billy Wagner: From 2006 through the first four months of 2008, Wagner was great as the Mets closer, compiling a 2.40 ERA and 1.060 WHIP with a 10.8 K/9, 4.26 K/BB and 101 saves. However, the flame-throwing lefty thew his last pitch in ’08 on August 2nd and was eventually forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. At the time, the Amazins had a two game lead in the National League East. Mets fans know how that turned out, partially due to shoddy bullpen work down the stretch.
This list is only partial, and doesn’t include several other injuries Mets players have sustained over the past few seasons, including Jason Bay, Moises Alou, Daniel Murphy, Angel Pagan, Pedro Martinez, Duaner Sanchez and others. Some injuries had a larger impact than others, but there is no denying the Mets have had more than their fair share of health issues over the past few seasons. This season, the Mets have somehow been able to hold their heads above water despite significant injuries, a testament to the team’s depth and manager Terry Collins. As well as the team has responded, however, I’m sure Mets fans are eager to see the recent rash of injuries come to a conclusion.