Emmanuel Pepis, Staff Writer
I could potentially be setting myself up for something really bad, but I’ll just open with this: it can’t be any worse than 2016 for the Mets… can it?
It seemed nobody was immune to the injury bug. You name a player, he had an ailment at some point. The silver lining to that is it brought guys like T.J. Rivera, Robert Gsellman, and Seth Lugo who should be in line to contribute to the 2017 Mets. So there are options in case the Mets are snake bit again this season.
Sure, injuries happen and they hit every team, some harder than others. I’m cautiously optimistic though that starting with the pitchers, the Mets will stay healthier this season. I know that’s a lot to say when you start with the injury history of Steven Matz and now Matt Harvey. On the position player side, David Wright is already dealing with shoulder issues.
I think part of this is that the Mets have an older team. At least six of the eight projected Opening Day starters are older than 30. The youngest outside of Noah Syndergaard to hit the diamond would be Jay Bruce (29). Travis d’Arnaud is 28 and has had a great spring, but we all remember how thrilled Syndergaard was with the Mets re-signing Rene Rivera. It should be noted that Rivera also caught Syndergaard’s Spring Training debut.
Could the Mets’ advanced age among their starters mean 2016 was a precursor? That’s the ultimate worst case scenario, but I believe on the flip side this clubhouse is full of smart veterans who know how to take care of their body. See Curtis Granderson and Yoenis Cespedes for just a couple of examples.
As far as who lands on the disabled list first — that’s just throwing at a dartboard. Taking Wright out of the equation, my guess would be Lucas Duda. He’s coming off a major back injury that forced him to miss a large chunk of last season. Plus, he already had back spasms earlier this spring. I feel okay that Duda will be suiting up in more games this year, but back injuries are tricky and in some cases, tend to become more chronic.