Mets left-hander Thomas Szapucki needs ulnar nerve transposition surgery, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports (Twitter link). The procedure will end Szapucki’s season, though the expectation is that he’ll be recovered in time for Spring Training.
The southpaw is just two weeks removed from his MLB debut, as Szapucki allowed six runs over 3 2/3 innings of relief work in New York’s 20-2 blowout loss to the Braves on June 30. That unfortunate outing stands as Szapucki’s lone appearance in the Show, as the Mets optioned him back to Triple-A two days later. (He was also called up to the big league roster in May but was optioned back a day later without seeing any game action.)
Nonetheless, Szapucki can now officially call himself a Major League player, following an injury-plagued pro career that began when the Mets selected him in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. Szapucki only pitched 145 innings from 2015-19, in large part due to a Tommy John surgery that entirely erased his 2018 season and a good chunk of his 2017 campaign. This latest procedure represents another significant setback, and it continues a trend of ulnar nerve transposition surgery for current and former Mets pitchers (such as Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler) in recent years.
Despite all these setbacks, Szapucki still carries some potential. MLB Pipeline ranks the left-hander 10th on their current list of Mets minor leaguers. As per Pipeline’s scouting report, Szapucki’s signature pitch is a 60-grade curveball, which he pairs with a fastball that only has low-90’s velocity but still grades as a 55 on the 20-80 scouting scale. It remains to be seen if Szapucki can stay healthy enough to work as a starter at the big league level, but he has started 42 of 49 minor league games, posting a 2.80 ERA and an impressive 28.91% strikeout rate over 186 2/3 total innings in New York’s farm system.
this dude has had the Mets curse for a while already and its only getting worse.
Dude you JUST MADE THE LIST
In other news, 20 rounds down and the Angels have drafted 20 pitchers. I have renewed confidence in Minasian.
Really? Not a single position player? Granted, the position players were considered thin this draft, so if they didn’t take a bat early then pitching us the way to go.
I’m happy to say it’s true.
My day isn’t complete until I’ve had my fill of MetsFan22 fragility, pleading for his first place AAA squad with the 3rd-richest payroll.
Know you won’t disappoint, MF.
Does anyone know if he’s a kid? I hope he is.
That’s what I’d suspect. The so-called adults in the comments on the various Mets sites are mostly hate-filled trolls who think Sandy can’t do anything right, Nimmo is a fourth outfielder at best, and Lindor is the second coming of Jason Bay. MetsFan22 is their polar opposite.
How is MF22 not hate-filled when he consistently trolls other teams’ injuries posts? Totally classless and can’t have a real dissussion about non-Mets players.
I didn’t say he’s not a hate-filled troll. He’s a different kind of troll, not the kind I see on the Mets sites who just attack the team and its management. His positions on both the Mets and the rest of baseball are indefensible. No point in discussing anything with him.
With this having happened to several Mets pitchers now, can’t help but wonder… Is there something in the mets’ minor league conditioning that is leading to this? Is their scouting department drawn to some physical aspect of a player that might make him more prone to this? Or… just plain lousy luck?
Hubcap, it’s happening everywhere because pitchers throw harder than they ever have. Nothing to do with the Mets.
Met prospect. Highly touted. Got injured. Less highly touted. Injured again. Hope he can still be a starter, maybe long relief. Injured yet again. ????
Like the article referenced, the same happened to deGrom. Better he gets it done this season when he was unlikely to start for us and can get himself ready for a larger role next season.
But Szap already had TJ surgery; this is yet another big injury requiring different surgery. It’s definitely a bad sign.
deGrom also had TJ surgery a few years before undergoing ulnar nerve surgery. Worked out fine for him.
Yeah…Degrom is the exception, not the rule.
Ah, I didn’t realize deGrom had the ulnar also.
Yes, definitely. deGrom is the exception. My point is that you can’t count someone out on these two injuries alone. It’s possible to come back and be the pitcher you were before them.
@Cosmo: It was towards the end of the season and he did not miss much time, so it’s easy to forget it.
With this latest IL placement the Mets are now 4 injuries away from setting a new ML record for IL placements in a single season.
You mean the ML record that the current Padres have set? Unfortunately they continue to add onto the total… but by all means go on, tell me how the Mets have it worse.
Technically the 2019 Yankees still hold the record so relax…
On his groin?
He makes one appearance with the big club and he’s done for the season. Seriously, when does this front office start to question the ability of training staff and fitness coaches? This is beyond ridiculous. If it’s not related to procedures, then maybe it’s time to question the preparedness of the players themselves and hold them responsible for being ready.