Mets ace is ‘regretful’ about lingering rehab keeping him from competing alongside teammates in 2024

kodai senga, mets
Mar 5, 2023; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Kodai Senga is itching to get back on the mound for the New York Mets as they’ve struggled to start the 2024 MLB season. Per the Associated Press, Senga lamented over his rehab from a shoulder injury sustained earlier this spring not going exactly as planned, saying this on Monday (via ESPN):

“It’s obviously not ideal, a lot of regretful feelings,” Senga said through a translator. “I just want to get back out there. I’m here at the stadium. I see all the guys fighting, and it really makes me want to have the urge to go back out there and pitch for the team.”

Kodai Senga will help Mets overcome pitching woes that have played into their 22-30 record

MLB: New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks, kodai senga
Jul 5, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; New York Mets pitcher Kodai Senga reacts after the final out in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets (22-30) are fighting to keep themselves afloat as they sit as the No. 4 seed in the NL East and No. 13 in the entire National League. In order to make the 2024 MLB Playoffs, they’ll need to squeeze their way into the top-six. They are currently 4.5 games back from the San Diego Padres (29-28) for the final Wild Card spot in the league, making a climb back into postseason positioning is still very much attainable.

Senga will be crucial in waging a midseason surge. There are 16 teams that sport a better ERA than the Mets (4.08). While they’ve shown a great ability to put batters away with the ninth-most strikeouts on the current campaign (459), they are not giving their bullpen enough momentum heading into the latter innings, and when they do, the relief unit has dropped the ball.

Senga’s latest setback has clouded his return timetable

Sep 27, 2023; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) drops a rosin bag during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.  Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 27, 2023; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) drops a rosin bag during the fifth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Japanese All-Star also detailed how it will be imperative for him to hit every benchmark before returning to the field. Another has been added to the fold after the 31-year-old came away with nerve inflammation in his injured shoulder on Friday, May 24.

Senga has been fine-tuning his mechanics as he works his way back, which he told the media two weeks ago after facing 32 live batters in a pitching session. He was several weeks away from getting assigned to Triple-A before making his big league debut and now, Mets manager Carlos Mendoza does not have an updated timeframe for the 2023 All-Star.

The Mets are getting by on the strength of Luis Severino and Sean Manaea thus far, but they clearly need their No. 1 guy back in action if they want to turn their season around. One thing is for certain. Senga badly wants to be out there with his teammates through the rain and storm.

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