The end to the Mets’ miserable May could not come fast enough as the team continues to fall apart.
After a red-hot 11-1 start, the Mets have struggled to stay above .500 and have seen some of their most important players hit the disabled list due to injuries. After the team talked up a new training staff all offseason, little has changed for the Mets, who continue to be plagued with devastating injuries.
The team’s offense has struggled with star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on the DL — though they struggled before he hit the disabled list, too. His absence creates a huge hole in the lineup that forced the Mets to turn to a washed up power bat in Jose Bautista to fill the void.
The club has lost third baseman Todd Frazier, center fielder Juan Lagares, starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud, infielder Wilmer Flores to the DL, too. The Mets boast one of the worst offenses in the league — statistically speaking — which has put extra pressure on their pitching staff, who have also taken a hit in recent days.
Ace Noah Syndergaard was placed on the 10-day disabled list — retroactive to May 26 — with a strained index finger on his pitching hand. He will wear a splint on his finger to keep it immobilized. Then, to make matters worse, Steven Matz was pulled from Tuesday night’s start when he was warming up in the fourth inning. The training staff was summoned to the mound and determined Matz needed to leave the game due to some discomfort in the middle finger of his pitching hand.
X-rays were negative, but Matz was in a splint after the game and was set to receive an MRI scan Wednesday. There was no word on how long Matz will be out or if he’ll need to join Syndergaard on the DL.
So with Matz and Synergaard sidelined, the Mets only healthy starters are Jacob deGrom, Jason Vargas and Zack Wheeler. Reliever Seth Lugo will jump into the rotation — he was scheduled to pitch Thursday — in a move that will further deplete the team’s bullpen.
Relievers AJ Ramos and Anthony Swarzak are on the disabled list, while mainstays Jerry Blevins and Jeurys Familia have been mostly ineffective on the mound.
Lugo had been providing a reliable middle relief option, but should he stay in the rotation, the Mets will need to find another way to shore up their bullpen situation.
Yes, it’s only June, but the Mets are clearly trending in the wrong direction. If things don’t turn around soon, it could lead to another season without postseason baseball at Citi Field.
Reach reporter Zach Gewelb by e-mail at zgewe