The New York Mets injury news keeps getting worse and worse as the season has gone on. On Monday it seemed that some positive injury news was finally here for the Mets as Jeff McNeil was activated from the injured list. McNeil’s abilities were sorely missed the last month and his being back is fantastic. But it definitely was not a great day for other Mets as it was said that Robert Gsellman will be out for at least the next month, Jeurys Familia was placed on the I.L. and the biggest news was LHP Joey Lucchesi will need to get Tommy John surgery after tearing his UCL. All three of the injuries are bad news for the Mets but the Lucchesi is a huge blow.
After acquiring Lucchesi in January he was thought to be a depth piece for the Mets. However, following Carlos Carrasco going down, Lucchesi was inserted in the rotation. He struggled mightily to start the season. The Mets later used him as an opener, letting him only get through a couple of innings. Then, Joey Fuego was moved to the bullpen and came into games after an opener. Following a few strong outings, the lefty was re-inserted into the starting rotation and he has been amazing since then. In his last 5 starts, he has a sub 2 ERA, while facing the Padres twice during this span. This injury news now becomes significant to the Mets for both the short term as well as long term.
In the present this loss is detrimental. The Mets rotation is already really thin as it is. Going into the season the Mets had depth when it came to starting arms. deGrom, Stroman, Carrasco, Walker, Peterson, Lucchesi, and Noah Syndergaard (who are still recovering from Tommy John surgery) were all expected to impact this current season. Looking back at it now Carrasco has never been in a major league game yet for the Mets, Syndergaard has had a setback in his recovery, both Walker and deGrom have had stints on the I.L., Stroman exited last night’s game with hip soreness and now Lucchesi will probably not pitch on the mound again until sometime late next season. There are now 3 starters available from the opening day roster, deGrom, Walker, and Peterson. Hopefully, Stroman’s test results come back clean and he will continue his great season. The Mets now have to rely on players that were not expected to make a significant impact this year, Jerad Eickhoff has been called up and he looked okay in his Mets debut. Tylor Megill will be making his debut tonight and if he looks good, there is a big possibility that he will remain on the big league roster. The fact that Lucchesi was getting into a groove makes the injury feel that much worse. He was playing a big role for the past month and his loss hurts big time.
The loss of Lucchesi also is going to have some big implications going down the road. Syndergaard and Carrasco are both expected to make it back in the late months of this season The odds are that the Mets will not have them pitch 6 or 7 innings immediately when they return. Lucchesi would have been moved to the bullpen due to the return of these two-star pitchers and he could have been the one to back Syndergaard and/or Carrasco up after their outings. He could have also been used as rotation insurance in case someone was to go down with an injury. During these past couple of weeks, he has proven that he is capable of succeeding in New York and could have been used for big roles later on. In addition, if this team can make the postseason, pitching depth becomes extremely important and Lucchesi could have pitched some innings for this team.
Joey Lucchesi has been a big part of this team recently and his abilities to give the Mets quality innings are going to be a big loss.
Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski