The regular season hasn’t even started and already the injuries have started to pile up for the New York Mets. The Mets have become well accustomed to dealing with injuries over the past few years, although it’s a little early to have this many injuries, even for the Mets.
The starting rotation has been hit the hardest thus far, with two of the five projected starters in question to start the season as a part of the rotation. The health of Johan Santana has been a prominent issue all spring long for the Mets. He’s already been scratched from opening day and right now there’s no telling how much the start of his season will be delayed, which will put a hole in the front of the Mets rotation for an indefinite period of time. The Mets have also had an issue pop up with Shaun Marcum, who recently received a cortisone shot in his shoulder. Marcum’s shoulder health was one of the risks the Mets took when they signed him this offseason, and now his health and reliability for the upcoming season are in question. One of the potential replacements for Santana and Marcum could have been Jenrry Mejia, but he has also been absent for much of camp due to a visa issue, which was followed by thyroid condition and then a forearm strain. The Mets were set up to handle injuries to their starting rotation over the course of their season with young pitches like Mejia, Zack Wheeler, and Collin McHugh in the minors, but having injuries at the start of the season was not a contingency plan the Mets had prepared for, meaning they may have to survive the start of the season with Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey in their rotation, with no certainty that those two will be suitable fill ins and no certainty that their injured pitchers will return.
The Mets have also had injuries strike their position players, and may need to start the season without half their infield, as both David Wright and Daniel Murphy could begin the season on the disabled list. Murphy has not played at all this spring, while Wright was forced to leave the World Baseball Classic and hasn’t been back on the field since. To make matters worse, backup infielder Justin Turner, who could be the fill in for either Murphy or Wright, is also questionable to start the season after spraining his ankle. All three are players the Mets can ill afford to lose, especially at the beginning of the season, as the team needs to get off to a good start to have any chance to be competitive in 2013.
Whether any of the Mets injured players can get back on the field before opening day remains a question mark. If any or all of them are absent for any significant period of time it will make a bleak situation for the Mets even worse. New York needs to be at full strength this year to have any kind of chance, and already they are a far cry from that, both on the mound and in the field. As that injury list grows, the Mets chances decline, and the season hasn’t even started yet. At this rate, the Mets season could be over before it even begins.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him to your network on Google+.