Max Scherzer out at least 6-8 weeks with a high grade oblique strain
Scherzer suffered the injury in his start on May 18
When it rains, it pours for the Mets pitching staff.
RHP Max Scherzer exited his start on Wednesday with an injury to his side muscle. He underwent an MRI this morning which revealed a moderate to high grade internal oblique strain, which will sideline him for at least 6-8 weeks, the Mets announced in a statement on Wednesday.
This news comes as the Mets enter a month-long stretch in which they will play 31 games with a combined .552 winning percentage and two west coast trips in-between. In all probability, the Mets will be without both Scherzer and Jacob deGrom during this stretch.
So, where do the Mets go from here with a rotation left with Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker, and Carlos Carrasco? There’s no clear path as they enter arguably the rockiest part of their 2022 schedule having run through all of their primary depth.
For now, the Mets will clearly need to inject both David Peterson and Trevor Williams into the rotation just to get some innings in the near-term.
Williams made a start during the doubleheader on Tuesday and pitched four quality innings before reaching his pitch limit. He could be stretched out even further this weekend at Coors Field, but his sustainability is unclear as a member of the starting rotation and his value may be greatest in a swing role as well.
Peterson has enjoyed some success in the Mets rotation in a small sample size this season, and aside from one start he has been solid in his minor league stint with Triple-A Syracuse, pitching to a 4.02 ERA over 15.2 IP. But like Williams, Peterson’s long-term sustainability is questionable in the big leagues.
The Mets also have Tommy Hunter, who was recently moved to Triple-A Syracuse but will need to continue to build his pitch and innings count before being considered for a big league roster spot. Other immediately available options could be Thomas Szapucki or Mike Montgomery.
The Mets could explore trading one of or both of Dominic Smith and JD Davis as part of a package to procure more pitching. Perhaps the Mets could look to the Cubs (Kyle Hendricks?) or explore a deal with the A’s (Frankie Montas?) to help patch the rotation back together with this difficult stretch ahead.
Of course, the Mets need to be weary of overpaying for reinforcements and any team the Mets engage will have the upper hand given their urgent need in the rotation.
No matter how it’s sliced up, this is indeed a gut punch with the Mets left to pick up the pieces.