New York Mets start season dangerously thin at pitcher

Marcus Stroman, New York Mets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
Marcus Stroman, New York Mets (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images) /

Once again the New York Mets will look to Jacob deGrom to carry the pitching load as another starting pitcher goes to the IL before the official start of the season.

While everyone is excited about baseball’s return, it always has to be a little tougher for New York Mets fans. The team already lost Noah Syndergaard for the season after he underwent successful Tommy John surgery, now Marcus Stroman, who was expected to fill that number two hole in the rotation, will also miss time.

New manager Luis Rojas announced that Stroman has a torn muscle in his calf, and it is unclear when they can expect him to be back. Rojas described it as a week to week injury, but in a nine-week season, every week matters.

The team experienced the biggest scare when two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom exited an exhibition game early. After pitching one inning, deGrom was seen in visible pain that the team described as back tightness. Luckily for the Mets, the MRI came back clean and he is ready to pitch as scheduled. Once again, he’ll have to be at his best every start for this team to compete in a crowded NL East.

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After deGrom, the rotation is shaky. Zach Wheeler departed in the offseason, signing with rival Philadelphia. That leaves Steven Matz, Rick Porcello, and Michael Wacha. Matz has been given the second starting position as he is scheduled to pitch on Saturday against the Braves.

Matz has never been able to achieve the same success he had in his rookie season. However, Rojas was impressed with what he saw from Matz as he establishes a slower curveball while turning up the velocity on his fastball.

The bullpen, a constant thorn in the Mets’ side, isn’t doing much better. Robert Gsellman, who the Mets have used in spot starts, also popped up on the IL. Gsellman was experiencing tightness in his right tricep and will remain sidelined.

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Again, every game counts in this shortened season, and losing him for multiple weeks could be detrimental to a shaky bullpen at best. More pressure will be on Edwin Diaz who already needs to prove his worth after an abysmal first season in Queens.