The Mets are known as one of the more unlucky teams in baseball history, from the 1988 upset to the failed “Generation K,” and it would make sense to include the past seven years. However, the most prominent unlucky factor in the Mets failures have been the excessive injuries that the Mets face seemingly every year. Let’s do a rapid fire for some of the most infamous injuries each year since 2008: Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Pedro Martinez, Luis Castillo, David Wright, Johan Santana, Angel Pagan, Daniel Murphy, Ike Davis, Jason Bay, Ruben Tejada, Francisco Rodriguez (just his punching hand), Mike Pelfrey, Matt Harvey, Andres Torres, Dillon Gee, and Jon Niese. At some point or another it seems that every player to wear a Mets uniform has suffered from some injury that results in another AAA player coming to take his place. It might be a little petty to complain about something everyone deals with, but one could argue the Mets just seem to take a bigger hit than most. This season though the Mets just haven’t been hit with the injury bug too much (I swear I’m not jinxing it). However, over the past few days it seems that the Mets got hit with a few of them. These injuries are varying from not severe to a huge upset, but it seems right to discuss the infamous Mets injury bug.
One of my favorite stories for the Mets in 2012 and 2013, Hefner was absolutely dominant for a stretch of about two months. His devastating overhand curveball posted a 2.14 ERA in ten starts last season and was quickly becoming another fascinating piece to the Mets future. Unfortunately, he fell off the map in the second half and it was quickly announced that he needed the dreaded Tommy John Surgery. When I first heard the news, I was completely distraught. Ever since then, I have been following his whereabouts and when his expected arrival will be. This dream came to a crashing halt when news leaked that he needed an MRI and then a tear of the UCL was revealed. Another surgery might be in the cards for the crafty righty. This has really hurt the Mets fan base because Hefner was slated to become the long man in the bullpen and thus another great arm on the roster. If there is any advice to give this poor guy, get the surgery quick! The fans, his teammates and the front office want to see him come back soon and 100%. Hopefully, he can come up next September with an electric shock to propel the Mets into the postseason.
Ah, the closer. As Drew Storen put it after the 2012 division series (still laughing at that ninth inning), “It’s the best job when you’re good at it and the worst job when you fail.” Storen was absolutely correct. Every Met fan loves seeing Mejia dance at the end of his save, but every Met fan hates his face when he blows it (especially this past Saturday). Mejia was diagnosed with a sports hernia. This injury has been mysterious because it’s the exact same one that Dickey pitched with to win a Cy Young award and the same one that knocked Scott Rice out for the rest of a season (and possibly the rest of his Mets career). So it seems to me that keeping the hernia would allow him to pitch well and getting rid of it would hurt him in the long run. Obviously this is crazy talk, but in the end the injury’s severity will be decisive. Terry Collins has publicly stated that with a healthy pitching arm the closer, with a 1.5 WHIP, will continue to pitch.
This is the one that everyone cares about; the potential rookie of the year, the future third head of the five-headed monster that will be the Mets rotation, this season’s phenomenon deGrom. He was diagnosed with tendinitis in his rotator cuff. This originally caused mass chaos among Mets fans ranging from “out for the season”, to the Mets medical staff being imbecilic, and finally to the pessimistic “the Mets have no future.” This was all stopped when it was labeled as a very minor injury, and that only two starts will be realistically missed. Reaffirming that Mets fans will jump to hasty conclusions in order to convey pessimism.
The Mets have an extensive history in dealing with injuries, but this season has been held at a minimum due its high standards (knock on wood). In reality, the only players with serious injuries have been Bobby Parnell and Juan Lagares. Let’s all hope for a speedy recovery for not only deGrom, but Jeremy Hefner!
As a side note, I would like to send my condolences to the family of one of my favorite actors ever: Robin Williams. He showed brilliant talent to star in some of the funniest movies (Mrs. Doubtfire, Flubber, RV, and list goes on and on) and co-star in one of the greatest movies ever (Good Will Hunting).