Ranking the 3 roster replacements for Kodai Senga after the latest injury update

This was why the Mets put an emphasis on depth this offseason.

Feb 14, 2024; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) walks out to
Feb 14, 2024; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) walks out to / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports
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And so it begins. New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga has a mild shoulder strain and is expected to start the season on the injured list, according to team baseball operations chief David Stearns. Senga had expected to be the Opening Day starter, but now the Mets are down their ace until the pain in his shouler subsides.

So this will leave the Mets searching for answers. When talking to the press, Stearns said that the Kodai Senga injury doesn't mean the chances Mets will sign someone else will increase, such as Scott Boras clients Blake Snell and Jordan Montgomery. Nor will the Mets have their top pitching prospects start the season in Flushing, like Christian Scott, Mike Vasil, or Dom Hamel.

Instead, the competition will be from within the organization.

3. Jose Butto

Jose Butto made seven starts with the Mets in 2023, including five in the last four weeks of the season. In those five starts, he went 1-2, with a 3.29 ERA, striking out 28 batters, while walking just nine. Four of his starts came against teams that made the playoffs, and four of his starts were pretty good. He proved that he can provide pitching depth in the majors when called upon, and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner deserves credit for finding a fix to boost confidence.

For all the talk about where the Mets would get innings from, and Butto's proof that he could consistently pitch five or six innings can go a long way at some point. Now with Senga's injury, the opportunity is there for him in spring training to pick up where he left off in September.

The thing that Butto will have to show in spring training is giving up soft contact. In the five starts down the stretch, just 9.6 percent of his contact was soft contact. He will also need to keep showing his swing and miss stuff on his offspeed and breaking pitches.