The Mets started spring training this year with high hopes that everything would come together so they could return to fielding a formidable team, one that could contend for a playoff spot. Over the last few weeks this hope has faded as the Mets injuries have piled up. It will be hard to contend for a playoff spot with a bunch of your top guys on the shelf.
The big blow came today when Mets’ young talented starting pitcher Zack Wheeler announced that he would undergo Tommy John surgery. This will cause him to miss the entire 2015 season and he probably won’t be ready for the start of 2016. After learning that he had serious damage to his UCL, surgery was not confirmed until earlier today.
Dillon Gee the 28-year old veteran will fill in for the young Wheeler and Rafael Montero will replace Gee’s position in the bullpen. Gee has been with the team since 2010 and has been a solid starter with a career ERA of 3.91. There are also young pitchers like Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Rafael Montero to step in if Gee cannot be effective.
This blow can be minimized because the Mets organization has built up their starting pitching depth. The troubling news is for Wheeler, a young pitcher looking to take the next step in his career, will be out of the game for over a year. The Mets were hoping that Wheeler would really come into his own this year, building off of a great second half he had last year.
On top of the Wheeler injury, the Mets have lost lefty relief pitcher Josh Edgin to TJ surgery. Although Edgin’s talent was far less than that of Wheeler’s, this is a bigger blow because the Mets don’t have a clear replacement for a lefty in the pen. The team has made it clear they will be shopping outside of the organization for Edgin’s replacement.
To add on to the season ending injuries, it is speculated that Bobby Parnell and Vic Black will start the season on the DL. These two guys are key pieces in the bullpen and the Mets will need them healthy if they want to close out games.
Lastly, Daniel Murphy, the Mets All-Star second basemen pulled up with a hamstring injury in yesterday’s preseason game. He should be fine to start the season but hamstring injuries have been known to linger and Murphy is one of the Mets’ best hitters in a lineup that desperately needs him out there.
It seems to be the same old story for the Mets. Every year they start Spring Training with promise and hope and the fan base is sorely let down by injuries and lack of production. Lets hope everyone who is able to get back on the field this year does, so we can see what this young team is really made of.