Mets third baseman Todd Frazier has been diagnosed with a strained left oblique muscle following an MRI and is headed back to New York to receive a cortisone shot, tweets MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. While DiComo cites a Mets official who doesn’t believe the issue is severe, there’s no timetable for a return at present.
Given that oblique strains often keep players on the shelf for a month or more, Frazier’s injury could put his readiness for Opening Day in jeopardy. Paired with a knee issue for offseason signee Jed Lowrie, the Frazier injury tests the Mets’ infield depth before the first week of spring games has even come to a close. New York also acquired J.D. Davis from the Astros this winter and is currently planning to deploy Jeff McNeil in the outfield, so the team has options if Frazier and/or Lowrie does indeed need to sit out long enough to miss some time early in the season.
It’s a tough start to the season for the 33-year-old Frazier, who’ll be looking to rebound at the plate after posting a meager .213/.303/.390 slash with 18 homers and 18 doubles in 472 plate appearances last season. Frazier still turned in solid defensive marks last season (+2 Defensive Runs Saved and Ultimate Zone Rating alike), and his walk rate topped 10 percent for the second consecutive season after never having done so in his first six seasons. He’s owed $9MM in 2019 in the second season of a two-year, $17MM deal with the Mets.