The one thing capable of derailing any team is injuries and the Mets aren’t any more immune than any other team. Fortunately for them, their starters haven’t been touched, although Jacob deGrom‘s velocity is down and Steven Matz has been pounded.
Both bear watching.
However, if the season started today the Mets have numerous health issues that would put the brakes on a fast start. The most pertinent are:
Michael Conforto: He’s dealing with lower back spasms that took him out of Wednesday’s game. He saw doctors today in Port St. Lucie and the prognosis is favorable.
“It was a little tight this morning,” Conforto told reporters. “Obviously, the ride home didn’t help. But I came in here and just got it loosened up pretty good. It feels a lot better.”
That’s encouraging, but it must be noted Conforto has a history of back problems, but he said it hasn’t kept him out for a significant period of time.
David Wright: Speaking of sore backs, there’s the third baseman, who was to play in exhibition games Thursday and Friday. That would leave him only a week, which isn’t enough time to get enough at-bats to get sharp.
Wright pushed it running the bases earlier in the week which resulted in his legs getting stiff, something manager Terry Collins said was to be expected.
Assuming Wright opens the season on the active roster, Collins said he’s not inclined to use him as a designated hitter, which would be a mistake. If the Mets’ intent is ease Wright into the season and take pressure off his back, then doing so as a designated would be a prudent option considering five of their 22 games in April are played in American League parks (two in Kansas City and three in Cleveland).
Doing otherwise would be ridiculous.
Asdrubal Cabrera: After missing much of spring training with a strained patellar tendon in his left knee, Cabrera is being eased in as a DH. When he was first injured, the thinking was Cabrera would open the season on the disabled list. That could still be the case, which appears likely considering he’s not even running.
Even with Cabrera injured, the Mets dumped Ruben Tejada, something they might eventually regret.
Yoenis Cespedes: He was bothered by a sore hit two weeks ago, but appears all right now. Even so, it’s a leg injury and that’s always something to watch.
Josh Edgin: He’s recovering from Tommy John surgery and won’t be ready until early May. He only recently got into a game. The Mets have lefty relievers Sean Gilmartin and Antonio Bastardo, so they can get by without Edgin for now.
Erik Goeddel: Was sidelined with a strained lat muscle earlier in camp, but there’s a chance he could be ready by Opening Day.