The Mets announced that they’ve placed right-handers Marcus Stroman and Robert Gsellman on the injured list. Stroman, who was said to be experiencing tightness in his calf earlier today, has been now diagnosed with a tear of some extent in that ailing calf muscles. Gsellman is experiencing some discomfort in his right triceps.
The IL placement for Stroman and the announced muscle tear are more ominous than this afternoon’s report of mere tightness in his calf. It should be noted that even a Grade 1 strain indicates some stretching or minor tearing, so it’s still possible that his absence won’t be substantial. Manager Luis Rojas tells reporters that Stroman will not require surgery (Twitter link via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com), but the skipper also referred to Stroman’s injury as a “week to week” situation, which isn’t a great outlook in a season that’ll barely span nine weeks from start to finish.
The loss of Stroman is a brutal hit for the Mets, who were already without right-hander Noah Syndergaard for the entire season due to Tommy John surgery. Two-time Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom will still head up the team’s rotation, but he’ll now be followed by Steven Matz, Rick Porcello, Michael Wacha and a to-be-determined fifth starter. Non-roster veteran Erasmo Ramirez could be one option, and 2017 first-round pick David Peterson is also in the Mets’ player pool. Right-hander Walker Lockett was placed on the IL this week with a back injury.
On a personal level for Stroman, the injury is about as poorly timed as possible. Already facing a shortened platform season prior to his first foray into free agency this winter, missing multiple weeks could give Stroman fewer than 10 starts to demonstrate his health and effectiveness for interested clubs. Given the potential for teams to be stingier than usual on mid-range free agents following this year’s revenue losses, the calf issue could prove particularly costly for Stroman, who posted a 3.22 ERA with better than a strikeout per inning in 184 1/3 frames last year.
As for Gsellman, it seems there’s lesser concern. DiComo tweets that his IL stint is expected to be back-dated the maximum three days, and a return to the bullpen in early August doesn’t appear to be out of the question. In two years since converting to full-time relief role, the now-27-year-old Gsellman has a 4.45 ERA with 8.1 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 in 143 2/3 innings.