This is why they say you can never have enough pitching, folks. The Mets are already getting tested with the latest Jose Quintana injury update.
The starting pitcher was recently sidelined with a stress fracture in the fifth rib of his left side. While that prevented him from continuing to ramp up and participate in the World Baseball Classic, we were unsure exactly how long it’d prevent him from pitching for New York again. As it turns out, it’s going to be a while.
According to Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets’ current plan is to shut Quintana down from throwing for three months. So, at the earliest (assuming no setbacks), he’ll be able to start a throwing program sometime in June. Considering he’ll need to start from scratch again from a workload standpoint, it’s possible we won’t see Quintana make his team debut until late July or even early August.
SNY’s Andy Martino did report soon after saying the Mets are still determining a timeline for Quintana’s injury. A three-month shutdown is one of those options, but that’s just one of multiple options.
This is obviously a huge bummer. There are two specific reasons why it’s a bummer, though.
After dealing with bumps in his own production, Jose Quintana bounced back with his first 4.0 fWAR season since 2017. His 2.93 ERA was also a new single-season career-best mark. At two years and $26 million, he was primed to be a bargain for the Mets, even if his numbers didn’t hit those heights again.
But the bigger bummer is the hole he leaves in the rotation. When the organization introduced him to the media, general manager Billy Eppler mentioned his durability multiple times. He tossed 165.2 innings in 2022 and has failed to twirl at least 130 frames in a year just twice since 2012 (10 innings in ’20, 63 in ’21).
Now, that back-of-the-rotation innings eater is not there. Thankfully, the Mets have perceived depth thanks to the presence of David Peterson and Tylor Megill.
It’ll be a good ol’ fashioned rotation competition the rest of the way. I’ve mentioned recently that I’d prefer Peterson to take that open spot. Puma notes that some Mets people are intrigued by the thought of letting Megill run with it. After all, that’s exactly what he did in Jacob deGrom’s absence before succumbing to his own injury in 2022.
I suppose we’ll see what happens over these next two-plus weeks before Opening Day. Regardless of who officially wins that rotation spot, they’ll both be significant factors for the Mets in 2023. Hopefully, Quintana will, too.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.