Just when the Mets thought it was okay to breathe again, three more key players are headed to the IL, and this time replacements are scarce.
The resilient Mets are being rechallenged. But this time, it’s the pitching staff that’s hit with injuries, and where the replacements come from is anyone’s guess.
Of the three, Familia (hip) is said to be the least worrisome as he is listed for a July 1 return.
But Gsellman (lat strain pitching shoulder) will be lost for the next 6-8 weeks while Lucchesi (torn ulnar collateral ligament) is listed as out until September 1, and could be headed for Tommy John surgery and out for the remainder of the year.
The Mets will seek second and third opinions on Lucchesi before making a final decision on surgery, but the Mets need another starter ASAP for all practical purposes.
Thought to be a spot-starter to help the Mets get through a doubleheader sequence, Jerad Eickhoff could find himself being called on for extra duty as a replacement for Lucchesi.
Yesterday, Eickhoff turned in four innings against the Atlanta Braves, allowing no runs on three hits while walking three and striking out three.
Obviously, though, it would be a huge step for the Mets to take if they were to hand the ball to an untested newcomer in the middle of a pennant race.
Mets Front Office: It’s Your Turn
In turn, this puts the ball squarely in the court of Mets Acting GM Jake Scott to find a serviceable starter via trade, a noteworthy challenge as teams are still in the process of weighing themselves as sellers or buyers between now and the July trade deadline.
Ole’ Reliable Seth Lugo is also an option to resume a starting role for the Mets, but that’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul with Gsellman and Familia’s loss in the bullpen.
A final and probably less desirable option for the Mets is to sign one of the remaining and still unsigned free-agent starting pitchers.
Mets Offense: It’s Your Turn, Too
Fittingly, some will say in a Mets season filled with injury setbacks, these latest injuries to pitchers came when the team was just on the cusp of getting their offense together.
Last night, Jeff McNeil contributed a pinch-hit single to mark his return, and he is expected to resume regular duty at second base any day now.
We can say because it’s true that the Mets will find a way as they have all season to meet their newest challenge.
We can add that Manager Of The Year candidate Luis Rojas will keep the Mets calm and motivated as he has done all year.
Mets: No Choice But To Exceed The Limit
But at some point, and this is as good as any, the focus must change to the front office and Steve Cohen to find a proven major league centerfielder and a fifth starter.
Notably, Cohen did not shy away from a question put to him about exceeding the luxury tax limit, even going as far as saying, “If we’re going there, it doesn’t make sense to go over my a million or two,” meaning the Mets will go all-in if they go that route.
One thing is certain. The Mets, from the top on down, see what’s within their grasp this year, and they know there’s no certainty the chance to win the NL East, and perhaps more, will come again.
With only five games separating the Mets from the Phillies, Braves, and now the suddenly awakened Nationals (8-2 in their last ten), no lead is safe, and the pressure is on to maintain the winning formula that has kept them at the top.
Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, and Taijuan Walker look great when the playoffs come around. However, there’s still a lot of the regular season left, and there’s little if any help coming from Syracuse, a team itself that holds the bottom of the International League standings.
This is why, and to reiterate, it’s time for the Mets front office to step in by adding a couple or three key players to relieve a team that’s done it all by themselves to date…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Kevin Nasser Mejia Carreño Trade for Kyle Gibson (Rangers) and Jose Berrios (Twins)
Stephen Steele Three pitchers in one day. Unbelievable.
Jeff Lane Just when you thought it was (okay) to go back in the water
Jim Schofield The pitching cupboard at the AAA level is bare. Which is the biggest reason we have only 11 wins. They’ll have to look elsewhere to fill that void, which means spending $$$ and possibly going over the cap. Author’s Note: Jim is a member of the Syracuse Mets Facebook Group
Arnie Wexler Unreal
Harriet Klein We need some close scrutiny of the training staff’s practices!
Bill Lowry Why is the front office hiding? Make a ##### move !!!!! Believe it or not, this is slipping away from us !!! Lgms
Ryan Ventura Yes and No. Did you notice offensive numbers going up? Sticky stuff had something to do with it. You do want good relationships and baseball stinks at it. They are not proactive. They wait until something happens to fix it. In other words, look the other way until it causes problems