The New York Mets won the pennant last season largely due to their vaunted rotation that featured some of the best young arms in baseball.
One of them could be headed for the disabled list already.
With Jacob deGrom scratched, the Mets send Logan Verrett to the mound as they try to shake out of their offensive slump and snap a four-game slide Wednesday against the Miami Marlins.
Pitching was instrumental to New York reaching the World Series last fall, leaning on a rotation that still includes deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz.
For now, deGrom is taking a hiatus. He's being skipped after tightness in his right lat forced him to exit his season debut Friday against Philadelphia.
While the Mets (2-5) are claiming the move is precautionary, a trip to the DL is possible.
"We're trying to stay away from that," manager Terry Collins said.
Coincidentally, the injury allowed deGrom to be with his wife for the birth of their son on Tuesday.
The Mets' offense have been virtually non-existent. They're hitting .187 with 18 runs this season, scoring just six times during the four-game skid.
Getting the offense back in gear would be a huge help to Verrett, who allowed one run in one inning in a 5-2 loss to the Phillies on Sunday in his only appearance.
"I feel good about going into this one," Verrett told the team's official website. "I did it quite a bit last year, so I feel like I'm a little used to it. You just go out there and try to put up zeros every single inning. Not a big deal."
The right-hander went 1-1 with a 3.63 ERA in four starts with New York last year. That includes yielding one run and three hits in five innings of a no-decision in a 4-3 home win over Miami on Sept. 14.
New York has scored more than three runs in just one game this season. Curtis Granderson has been ineffective in the leadoff spot, going 2 for 27 with five walks and two runs.
Neil Walker is also struggling with a .214 average, while tying Granderson, David Wright, Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda with a team-high eight strikeouts.
The Marlins (3-3) are trying to sweep their first three-game series in Flushing since Sept. 8-10, 2009.
Dee Gordon came through in the clutch Tuesday after striking out a career-high four times. He singled on the 16th pitch of his at-bat in the eighth, stole second and advanced to third after consecutive walks before scoring the decisive run on Martin Prado's sacrifice fly.
"I was just trying to put on a good battle," Gordon said. "Keep fighting. Keep trying to get on base, that's it."
Gordon is batting .435 during a 19-game hitting streak against the Mets.
Miami sends Adam Conley to the mound in place of Wei-Yin Chen, who was pushed back to Friday against Atlanta due to a bruised left elbow suffered on a comebacker in the season opener.
Conley's season debut only lasted one inning due to a long rain delay. The left-hander gave up three runs with two strikeouts and two walks in Thursday's 6-4 win at Washington in the shortest of his 12 career starts.
Conley has allowed one run in 9 1-3 innings over two appearances against the Mets. He yielded three hits in seven innings of a 6-0 win in his only start against them Sept. 16 at Citi Field.