Friday, June 17, 2022

Mets' Megill To Miss At Least A Month; Third Top Pitcher Out Into July


Tylor Megill walking off the field with the trainer and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner on Thursday night. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets have been looking forward to July as the estimate for when their pair of aces, Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom, are set to return. On Friday afternoon, they can add another top pitcher to the "Waiting For July" theme.

Tylor Megill left Thursday night's start with what was termed "right shoulder discomfort" and that he would undergo imaging on Friday.

The Mets announced the results on Friday afternoon, and he was diagnosed with a right shoulder strain and has been placed on the 15-day injured list. 

Megill's rehab was laid out in the press release: "The immediate plan is for him to be shut down from throwing and re-evaluated in four weeks. Additional updates will be provided as appropriate."

Megill was putting together an incredible season, as he basically took deGrom's spot in the rotation when he was injured in the last week of spring training, and he put up numbers befitting the two-time Cy Young winner.

Through April 29, when Megill was one of five starters to combine on a no-hitter of the Philadelphia Phillies, he had a record of 4-0 with an ERA of 1.93.

Megill then had a pair of difficult outings. On May 4, in a game the Mets eventually lost, 9-2, to the Atlanta Braves. he allowed three runs on four hits and two walks, with nine strikeouts. A week later, on May 11, he allowed eight runs on eight hits, including two home runs, and a walk, in just 1 1/3 innings in an 8-3 loss in Washington the Nationals.

The following Sunday, May 15, the right-hander was placed the 15-day injured list with biceps tendinitis. 

Megill wouldn't make a start for nearly a month after the brutal night in Washington, as he faced the Angels in Anaheim on Friday, June 10. He pitched decently, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk, with four strikeouts, but only lasted 3 1/3 innings in a game the Mets went on to win 7-3.

On Thursday night, against the Milwaukee Brewers, he sailed through the first three innings, as he notched five strikeouts. He only and surrendered a single to Hunter Renfroe in the third, and he was then erased in a Jace Peterson double play, so he only faced the minimum nine hitters.

Megill was working with a 1-0 lead as the Mets got a run in the first inning against Milwaukee starter Aaron Ashby, as Jeff McNeil singled home Mark Canha, who drew a walk to open the game.

It all turned for Megill in the fourth, starting with Christian Yelich taking one to the opposite field, in the front row in left field, for a solo home run to tie the game.

Megill then struck out Willy Adames before allowing singles to Rowdey Tellez and Luis Urias, and a walk to Andrew McCutchen to load the bases. While Omar Narvaez was batting, and the count 0-1, the Mets trainer, Manager Buck Showalter, and Pitching Coach Jeremy Hefner went to check on him, and he was pulled from the game.

At this point, the Mets need to get creative with how to take Megill's place in the rotation, because David Peterson has not proven to be up to it, and Cookie Carrasco and Taijuan Walker are very inconsistent. 

One obvious move is to finally move Seth Lugo back into the starting rotation, or barring that, give him a more defined role. They could use another reliever like Drew Smith as an opener, have him throw three or four innings, and then have Lugo pitched four to five, so you know on that day the pitching is covered, which would mirror how he was used in 2019, to much success.

It also could be time for them to kick the tires on some trades, as plenty of teams who are out of it could have diamonds in the rough, and it doesn't have to be just starters. With their ability to battle back (Thursday was their 16th come from behind victory), an even more bolstered bullpen could be just what they need as they wait for July. 

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