Injuries Starting to Pile Up in Mets Clubhouse as Cespedes Joins the Walking Wounded

By Paul DiSclafani

UPDATE: 4/21/17, 4pm:  Pitcher Jacob deGrom was scratched from tonight’s start with a stiff neck and may pitch on Saturday.  Matt Harvey will start tonight on four-days rest against the Nationals.  Also – Mets put Lucas Duda and Wilmer Flores on the 10-day DL and recalled infielder TJ Rivera (who will start at 3B) and P-Sean Gilmartin, who was sent back to the minors yesterday.

Is it time to start panicking over at Citi Field yet?

Like an old Buick that  is nickel and dime-ing you to death, the Mets are dealing with a number of injuries that are not severe enough put players on the new 10-Day Disabled List, but are causing manager Terry Collins to shorten an already short bench.  Last night, in the rubber game against the Phillies that the Mets lost 6-4, Collins had only three of his five bench players available – Juan Lagares, Kevin Plawecki (who was just brought up from AAA) and Travis d’Arnaud, who could barely hold a bat due to a wrist injury.

That makes a tough job even tougher when starter Noah Syndergaard looked like he might not make it past the fifth inning.

With Lucas Duda (hyper-extended elbow) already not available, his backup at first, Wilmer Flores, was scratched because of an infection in his knee.  Although he is now taking medication, he will also be out a few days.  That caused Collins to pencil in Jay Bruce to play first.  It was only the fifth time that Bruce ever played first at this level.  With no other infielders on the bench, do you know who the emergency infielder for the evening was?  Gold Glove center fielder Juan Lagares, who played SS in the minor leagues.

With closer Jeurys Familia back from suspension and Plawecki needed to catch, the Mets sent down two pitchers last night, Sean Gilmartin and Rafael Montero.  Gilmartin was a no-brainer, but Montero may be a sad ending to what was once a promising career.  The kid just can’t seem to pitch at the major league level.  How many more chances can one player be given?

And now Yoenis Cespedes will miss at least the entire Washington Nationals series this weekend.

Cespedes was running to second base during a double play ball hit by Bruce and only made it half-way before limping off the field.  The Mets said, at the time, that is was a hamstring “cramp”.  This is the same left-hamstring that nagged Cespedes all last season, forcing him to move from center field to left.  He missed 14 games on the DL because of this last year.

Through an interpreter, Cespedes contradicted the Mets initial diagnosis.  “It’s not a cramp.  It felt like a shock.  I’ve had this injury before.  This time it doesn’t feel as serious.”  Still, Collins and the Mets will be über cautious with their meal ticket.  “Any time you’re talking about a hamstring, it’s a concern,” Collins said. “When you talk about a hamstring and a guy like that, with his muscle strength, you’ve got to be careful.”  Cespedes is tied with Bruce for the team lead with six home runs.

With the Nationals (10-5) coming into Citi Field this weekend with their early 2-game lead over the Mets (8-8), they need a first baseman, a catcher, and a power hitting outfielder.

Maybe it’s at least time to look under the couch for that panic button…



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