The Mets opened a short two-game series with the Houston Astros on Tuesday night at Citi Field maintaining the best record in the National League at 47-27. The 54-20 Yankees were the only team in all of Major League Baseball with a better mark. The Mets welcomed the return of second baseman Jeff McNeil, who had missed the previous five games with hamstring tightness.
Just as they are seemingly close to having their two aces, Jacob de Grom and Max Scherzer, back in rotation from injuries, another starter has been subtracted until at least mid-August when the team announced on Monday that Tylor Megill was placed on the 60-day injured list. The 26-year-old righty hasn’t pitched since June 16 due to a strained right shoulder. He was also on the IL in May with a strained right biceps.
Megill is 4-2 with a 5.01 ERA over nine starts this season but had a 2.43 ERA in his first six starts before shoulder and arm trouble set him back. Scherzer, who last pitched for the Mets’ big league team on May 18 when he removed himself from a start against the St. Louis Cardinals with an oblique strain, had a rehab start for the Double-A Binghamton Rumble Ponies on June 21 and was scheduled for another minor league outing on Tuesday.
However, on Monday, the Mets decided to delay Scherzer’s appearance until Wednesday. “There’s no reason to rush it,” said Mets manager Buck Showalter on Tuesday. “We’re not going to make that mistake.” The 37-year-old Scherzer, a three-time Cy Young winner who has pitched for five teams since making his MLB debut in 2008, had been stellar before his season was interrupted. He is 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA in eight starts.
Two-time Cy Young recipient de Grom is still working towards his 2022 season debut as he recovers from a stress reaction in his right scapula. The 34-year-old two-time NL strikeout leader (2019, 2020), hasn’t pitched in a Major League game since last July after being shut down because of forearm tightness and elbow inflammation. The Mets optimistically hope to have de Grom make his first start close before or soon after the All-Star Game break, which will be from July 18-21.
The Mets will host the Texas Rangers in Queens for a three-game series beginning tomorrow, then travel to Cincinnati to face the Reds three games next Monday through Wednesday.