The hits keep on coming for the Mets.
On Thursday, ace pitcher Max Scherzer's MRI revealed a moderate to high grade internal oblique strain, as the team announced. Scherzer will likely miss 6-8 weeks, which is a crushing blow for the first place Mets.
The Mets' rotation has already been without Jacob deGrom (stress reaction on right scapula) all season and recently lost deGrom's replacement to the 15-day I.L. in Tylor Megill (biceps tendinitis).
Scherzer removed himself in the sixth inning of his start on Wednesday, in which he felt a "zing" in his left side. The 37-year-old said he was dealing with tightness in the area throughout his outing, but after throwing a slider on his 87th and final pitch of the evening, he motioned to the dugout to inform them he couldn't go any further.
While Scherzer initially believed he avoided a serious injury, his imaging results revealed a high grade strain that will knock him out for a significant period of time.
The Mets have gotten off to an impressive 25-14 start to the regular season, but with Scherzer now sidelined for the next 6-8 weeks, the club's starting pitching depth is razor thin.
Left-hander David Peterson is expected to fill one of two vacancies in the rotation, while long reliever Trevor Williams will likely have to take Scherzer's place in the interim.
Although we are just 40 games into the season, the Mets have lost both of their aces - deGrom and Scherzer - along with deGrom's replacement, to the injured list. DeGrom began throwing two weeks ago, and his latest MRI showed "continued healing," which will allow him to continue to build distance and velocity. However, the two-time Cy Young Award winner isn't close to returning, and will likely require several rehab starts once he is ready for live game action. DeGrom is throwing on flat ground and if all goes well, the next step will be mound work.
Losing Scherzer is a massive blow for the Mets. It also means that Chris Bassitt, who was initially brought in to serve as the No. 3 starter, will now become the team's ace indefinitely. New York envisioned a three headed monster in their rotation: deGrom, Scherzer and Bassitt - but it hasn't played out that way thus far due to the injury bug.
The Mets signed Scherzer to a record-setting three-year, $130 million contract during free agency. The righty went 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 59 strikeouts across eight starts.