Mets News: Recent rash of injuries will put the depth to the test
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets suddenly have a more talented roster on the IL than they do on the active 26-man. Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil joined the group on Monday after both suffered hamstring injuries over the weekend.
As if this wasn’t a big enough blow, the team could be adding more players to the IL very soon. Taijuan Walker exited his start on Monday after three innings of work because of an injury. Far uglier, outfielder Kevin Pillar was hit with a pitch that left him on the ground bleeding from the nose.
The Mets could conceivably put together an entire lineup (sans catcher) with the players they have placed on the IL this season. The result: the depth is about to be put to the test even further.
The Mets are now dipping into their minor league system further for help
To replace Conforto and McNeil, the club promoted outfielders Khalil Lee and Johneshwy Fargas. Fargas got the start on Monday with Lee entering the game to replace Pillar after his injury.
Depending on how Pillar feels and whether or not he needs to miss some action, the most experienced outfielder on the team may be Dominic Smith for quite some time. Even if he doesn’t hit the IL, we should expect to see Fargas, Lee, or Jake Hager get some starts in the outfield.
As short-handed as they are at the moment, the team managed to win their opener versus the Atlanta Braves on Monday. We can credit the pitching staff for this. Perhaps most notably, Sean Reid-Foley gave them three shutout innings of no-hit ball. We have already seen Reid-Foley do this before. In his season debut against the Chicago Cubs, he did the same.
Some help is on the way for the Mets
Reinforcements should arrive back to the Mets roster soon. J.D. Davis looks most ready to come back and insert his heavy right-handed bat into the middle of this lineup. The hottest hitter on the team before he went down with an injury, the Mets could really use him right now.
Brandon Nimmo did appear to be on track to return soon, but a setback in his rehab appearance over the weekend may delay his return. I can echo the same sentiment for him as I did with Davis. The Mets are working with a lineup of backups and Triple-A players.
We can commend the Mets front office for adding depth this winter. Several of the team’s bench players to open the season could have been starters on lesser ball clubs.
Right now, however, those guys are playing every day. Jonathan Villar has assumed the role at second base or third base as needed. Jose Peraza, a guy who didn’t crack the Opening Day roster, is in a similar role, too.
The Mets will need the most they can get from their starting pitchers and bullpen in the coming days. It’s frightening to see Walker suffer any kind of injury, not just because of how terrific he has been, but also because of how badly they need him. Remove him from the rotation and the Mets suddenly have three spots they’re unsure about—not just two.
We can only hope Jacob deGrom is ready to go sometime this weekend against the Miami Marlins. The Mets could really use his arm, his innings, and his bat right now.