Mets Opening Day Pitcher Unknown Following deGrom, Scherzer Injuries

The Mets’ offseason was one for the books for fans who so desperately yearned for more star-power and an owner willing to spend money to make it happen. Thanks to the pockets of Steve Cohen, the dream finally became a reality, with the likes of Starling Marte and three-time NL Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer signing on, among others. The thought of a starting rotation boasting Jacob deGrom followed by Scherzer was ineffable for opposing teams.

But Mets fans were quickly brought back to earth after yesterday’s news cycle painted a picture we know all too well. During a shortened Spring Training, both star pitchers, deGrom and Scherzer, will miss time due to injuries.

DeGrom, who was named the Opening Day pitcher, reported tightness in his shoulder on Thursday and, after an MRI on Friday, it was announced he has a stress reaction on his scapula. Opening Day is now out of reach for him as he is not scheduled to pick up a baseball for up to four weeks. This pushes deGrom back into the rotation close to Memorial Day.

The news comes less than one year after deGrom was shut down last July due to an elbow injury, putting an end to what could have been one of the best pitching seasons in the history of the game. He finished the year with a 1.08 ERA through 15 starts.

Without arguably the best pitcher in baseball set to miss at least one month, Scherzer was next in line to take the hill on Opening Day.

But the former rival Scherzer is also dealing with an injury. The All-Star was supposed to throw up to seven innings in an intrasquad game today (April 2) but was a late scratch with right hamstring tightness. Scherzer has dealt with similar injuries in the past and believes he can heal in a few days.

Still, Opening Day is just five days away, and the injury leaves Mets fans begging for good news fast.

The question now remains: Who will be the starter for the Mets on April 7?

The Amazin’s currently have three healthy starters in the rotation, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker. Mets Skipper Buck Showalter does not want to mess with the routines of those three pitchers, meaning it is unlikely they will be pushed forward. Other options include Tylor Megill, David Peterson, and Trevor Williams. And reports Saturday morning revealed the Mets are discussing a trade that could bring San Diego Padres pitcher Chris Paddack to Queens.

Regardless of who is named starter, the news leaves a sour taste in the mouths of Mets fans around the world who just days ago were starry-eyed and excited about the prospect of the one-two punch of deGrom and Scherzer this season. Hopefully Scherzer is healthy enough to make the start, but if not, the season will start off on a low note with two of the best pitchers in the league out with injuries.

(Photo: MLB.com)

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