Mets’ injury news: Seth Lugo completes second rehab outing; JD Davis takes reps at first base

As of Saturday morning, the New York Mets could probably field an entire team of players currently on the injured list. Their injury crisis is almost unprecedented, yet they have been able to maintain the top spot in the National League East division with a 21-17 record.

One of the Mets’ players that hasn’t even been able to make his season debut is Seth Lugo, who went down with an elbow injury during spring training. One of the most reliable relievers in the history of the franchise, Lugo won’t appear in official MLB games before June, but he is in the final stages of his recovery and will, barring setbacks, be ready for when it’s time for him to get off the 60-man injured list.

Lugo appeared in two rehab games this week, one on Tuesday with St. Lucie, and another one on Friday with Triple-A Syracuse, according to SNY. Yesterday, he tossed a scoreless seventh frame with one strikeout and a walk. He went out for the eighth, but walked the leadoff man and was pulled at that point.

The Mets’ right-hander threw 25 pitches. His next outing will likely come on Sunday, per Syracuse manager Chad Kreuter.

The Mets want JD Davis to play first base

On the other hand, Mets’ third baseman J.D. Davis, who has been out over a week with a sprained finger, may be preparing to play some first base upon his arrival.

He played first base for Syracuse on Friday night, and Kreuter said that the team wants to see if he can handle the position given that Pete Alonso is currently on the injured list.

Davis should be back with the Mets next week, and his return will be a welcomed development for a team that has been without Jeff McNeil, Alonso, and other stars in the past few days.

Mets: Brandon Nimmo suffers setback, JD Davis return around the corner

The New York Mets have been playing without their leadoff hitter and regular center fielder Brandon Nimmo for a while, as he is nursing a bone bruise in his left index finger. They are doing OK without him, recently winning seven straight games before seeing their streak snapped on Friday, but they need him for the long haul if they want to make some noise come October.

The Mets had been hoping to have Nimmo back for the weekend, starting on Friday, as he took some at-bats with the team’s minor league affiliates.

However, he suffered a setback in his recovery, as he is still bothered by the injury and can’t bat as he normally would.

According to the Mets’ official site, in his last at-bat for Triple-A Syracuse on Thursday, Nimmo felt pain in the finger. That’s what manager Luis Rojas told the media, and now his return has been pushed back until further notice.

Nimmo didn’t play for Syracuse on Friday night, as he is going to get treatment and receive more tests to see if the initial diagnosis got worse or if he could resume his rehab after a rest day or two.

The Mets miss Nimmo but could get Davis back this weekend

Before getting hurt, Nimmo was having a highly productive season for the Mets, hitting .318/.430/.439 with a homer and a couple of stolen bases, plus improved defense out there in center field, which was one of his main weaknesses last year.

Nimmo could resume the rehab assignment on Saturday. “That was one of the reasons why him and us wanted him to take at-bats before joining the team, just so he could test it,” Rojas said. “He did the high velo machine but still wanted to do it live against pitchers.”

The Mets could have JD Davis back this weekend, though, so at least there are some good news on the injury front.

“J.D. did high velo today, felt better. We’re still aiming at tomorrow (Saturday), but still gotta give us the feedback after hitting off the high velo machine,” Rojas said. “So we can be in a good place to probably activate him tomorrow or the next day.”

Mets: JD Davis won’t be back when first eligible, another outfielder hits the IL while Nimmo nears rehab assignment

The New York Mets are on fire, winning seven games in a row and taking over the first place in the National League East division. Yet, they are a bit shorthanded at the moment, missing starters Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, and Noah Syndergaard, plus regular center fielder Brandon Nimmo.

To make matters worse, third baseman JD Davis, whose ten days on the injured list were up Wednesday, still isn’t ready to return per Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News, and will need a little bit of extra time on the shelf.

Davis, who has been out since May 2 due to a sprained left finger, will presumably need at least another week of rest and rehab.

Davis was among the Mets’ best hitters prior to hitting the injured list for the second time this season, with a .390 batting average, five runs, two homers, seven RBI, and a 1.089 OPS. Jonathan Villar has been playing third base in his absence, and scored the winning run on Tuesday.

The Mets lost Almora Jr., too

In addition, center fielder Albert Almora Jr. crashed into an outfield wall on Tuesday at full speed and suffered a left shoulder contusion, requiring a trip to the 10-day injured list. Top prospect Khalil Lee was called up to take his place.

As for Nimmo, who is nursing a left finger contusion, the Mets are planning to send him ‘on a rehab assignment before he is activated from the IL, per Luis Rojas,’ according to SNY’s Danny Abriano. The outfielder is eligible to return Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays, but it appears he will need a few more days just like Davis.

Despite the fact they are missing so many contributors, the Mets have managed to keep themselves afloat and win game after game. Next week, they could get deGrom, Davis, and Nimmo back, with others to follow them in the not-so-distant future.

Mets: JD Davis lands back on the injured list; Carrasco to stretch out to six innings

JD Davis has been, without a question, one of the most productive hitters in the New York Mets’ roster, with a .390 average and a couple of home runs. The problem is that he hasn’t been able to be on the field much recently, and the team just put him on the 10-day injured list on Monday for the second time already.

The Mets’ third baseman is nursing a left hand sprain. Davis had to leave Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies with the injury, and hasn’t played since. Now, he will be on the shelf for a few more days as he recovers from the issue.

“We’re still evaluating him just to see what he can do out there with that sprain that he has in his hand,” Mets’ manager Luis Rojas said of Davis. “But they’re both in a similar spot as they were yesterday.”

In the previous sentence, Rojas is also referring to Nimmo, who also had to leave Saturday’s tilt with a finger injury.

“Nimmo is better,” Rojas said. “Improving, but slowly. Not able to start. … His availability out of the bench, we shall see.”

In fact, Nimmo appeared as a defensive substitution on Sunday, but didn’t show up on Monday’s box score in the Mets’ loss against the St. Louis Cardinals. However, he, unlike Davis, was able to avoid the injured list, at least for the time being. He is expected to retake his leadoff spot in the next few days.

Could the Mets have Carrasco back soon?

In other injury news, Mets’ starter Carlos Carrasco, who has been out the whole season to this point while nursing a high-grade hamstring tear, is about to return.

The right-hander, who came from Cleveland alongside Francisco Lindor, will stretch to six innings today in Port St. Lucie.

If everything goes well, he could either debut with the Mets in his next start or pitch one last tune-up with a minor league affiliate, according to what Rojas told SNY.

He could theoretically replace Joey Lucchesi, who was battered on Monday.

Mets’ JD Davis still experiencing discomfort while swinging the bat

Tomorrow will be a week since JD Davis had to be taken out of the New York Mets’ game against the Philadelphia Phillies after getting hit in his hand by a Chase Anderson fastball clocked at a little over 90 mph.

Since then, Davis hasn’t been able to return and, instead, he was placed on the 10-day injured list by the Mets with a hand contusion. X-rays performed last week showed no fracture whatsoever, and the third baseman remains sidelined until further notice.

Despite the fact that he still hasn’t been able to take full swings or grip a bat without discomfort, the Mets’ slugger is confident that he will make his much anticipated return when his 10 days on the list are up. That would be April 17, since he was placed on the IL retroactively to April 7.

Davis has been lifting weights and taking ground balls while he waits to hit without discomfort. While it’s possible he returns this weekend, that is still up in the air as he has some hurdles to clear.

“I feel pretty confident,” Davis told reporters on Sunday. “Again, it’s day-to-day with the swelling. Every day it’s progressing in the right way. I’m confident in how it’s healing.”

The Mets want to make sure he is healthy

In any case, it shouldn’t more than 7-10 days until the Mets can have their third baseman back, so they need to be patient.

“I took some grounders, got a lift in, got some conditioning, doing some extra hand isolation movements and exercises and it felt great,” Davis said about what he did on the weekend. “But taking a full swing, [there] was still discomfort in there, especially the area where I got hit. Felt like there was still a pinch in there. So just a matter of time and day by day with sweeping going down.”

While he is eager to come back as soon as possible, the Mets know that the season is long and it’s for the best that they ensure Davis is fully healed.

“The whole season, it’s 162 games, so just got to take it day by day and get healthy and get back out there. That’s pretty much all I can do,” he said.

The Mets have been giving increased playing time to Luis Guillorme and Jonathan Villar during Davis’ absence.

Mets place JD Davis on the 10-day injured list

The New York Mets, looking for some roster flexibility and with the best interest in mind about third baseman JD Davis’ health, decided to place him on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to April 7, with a left hand contusion according to Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News.

The Mets’ third sacker suffered the injury on Tuesday, after being hit by a pitch on his left hand by a 90 mph Chase Anderson fastball and not being able to recover as quickly as the team had hoped.

X-rays taken to Davis’ hand this week were negative, but the Mets decided that they needed his roster spot for as many days as he remains on the shelf. He will now spend at least another week sidelined with his ailment.

In corresponding moves, infielder Jose Peraza’s contract was selected by the Mets from the alternate training site, and right-hander Franklyn Kilome was designated for assignment to open up a 40-man roster spot for Peraza.

While Davis is out, utility infielders Jonathan Villar and Luis Guillorme are expected to see more starts at third base and second base.

The Mets hope to have Davis back soon

Davis, acquired by the Mets before the 2019 season from the Houston Astros, is not expected to require more than the minimum stay on the injured list.

That 2019 season represented Davis’ breakout season, with the help of Mets’ hitting coach Chili Davis. He hit .307/.369/.527 with a .373 wOBA and a 136 wRC+, one of the best marks on the team.

However, last year he struggled to a .247/.371/.389 line and a .339 wOBA in 56 games, with six home runs. Even though he was still an above average hitter for the Mets by virtue of his 116 wRC+, it was clearly a down year by the talented slugger, who clearly suffered the absence of Chili Davis for COVID-19 related concerns.

Once he returns to full health, Davis will regain his third base position and start to find his rhythm back.

Mets’ JD Davis: Weekend series suspension was a ‘punch to the stomach’

COVID-19 is already altering MLB’s plans of having a relatively normal season, as the Washington Nationals have an outbreak of the virus. They were going to open their season against the New York Mets on Thursday, but that plan went out the window as it was revealed yesterday that the Nats had one positive and four other players isolated due to contact tracing.

The situation got worse on Friday, as the Nationals now have a total of four positive tests in their roster and other five players and one staff member in quarantine after contact tracing. The events of the last 24 hours led MLB to cancel the Nats – Mets series, as the teams were scheduled to take the field on Saturday and Sunday.

The Nationals don’t know when they’ll play again, but the Mets’ season will start on Monday against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Naturally, Mets’ players are disappointed because they wanted to start playing as soon as possible, and now, they will be several games behind the rest of the NL East. That would mean multiple doubleheaders in the future, as well.

The Mets are staying ready no matter what

JD Davis, the Mets’ third baseman, talked about the situation over a Zoom call with reporters, as outlined by SNY.

“It’s a little disappointing,” Davis said. “Again, it can happen to anybody. We’re fortunate to have good protocols here and have good rules to track down this kind of a spiderweb with what’s going on over in the Nationals to kind of lock it down and get control of the virus.

“Guys, including myself, we were super pumped for Opening Day. Of course, it’s unfortunate, but it is what it is. …I woke up at 9 a.m. on Opening Day, I was ready to go. Had breakfast, had coffee, I was already doing my scouting reports and everything, and then I got the word at like 10, 11 o’clock. So it was definitely a punch to the stomach, but it is what it is.”

Despite the continued inactivity, the Mets’ roster is staying in shape, according to Davis.

“We’re just [doing] the same old workouts we do in spring training: live ABs, seeing pitches come out of the hand, ground balls, live ground balls, BP, getting our sprints in and agility stuff in, just playing kind of sim games. Just kind of the same things we’ve been doing in spring training to keep us ready and keep us locked in,” he said.

New York Mets: Don’t sleep on JD Davis’ offensive potential

After the New York Mets traded most of their shortstop depth in the deal that brought Francisco Lindor and Carlos Carrasco to the Big Apple, the most likely scenario has them using Jeff McNeil at second base and JD Davis at the hot corner.

Defensively, it may not be an ideal solution. Davis had -8 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) at third base in 2020, and accumulates -19 there in 770 career innings at the position. Other metrics support the thesis that he just isn’t a good player with the glove.

However, the Mets may want to keep his bat in the lineup. Even after a somewhat inconsistent 2020 that saw him slash .247/.371/.389 with a 116 wRC+, it’s important to remember that Davis slashed .307/.369/.527 with a .373 wOBA, 22 home runs, and a 136 wRC+ in 2019. He was one of the Mets’ best performers two years ago.

If he doesn’t improve, at least modestly, with the glove, he may have a hard time securing regular playing time, especially if the Mets can’t use the designated hitter spot (still in discussion.) However, if he bats like 2019 and not like 2020, manager Luis Rojas will be forced to find him at-bats.

The Mets want to see him bounce back

For now, he is ticketed for the arbitration process, as he and the New York Mets couldn’t agree on a contract. He requested $2.475 million and was offered $2.1 million by the Mets when arbitration figures were exchanged.

Barring additional signings, the Mets will enter 2021 with Davis as their starting third baseman. His defensive development will surely be one of the hottest spring training storylines, but it will be his bat that will dictate how many plate appearances he’ll enjoy in 2021.

The potential for a bounceback is there. Even in his “poor” 2020, Statcast loves Davis, as he was in the 71st percentile in average exit velocity; 80th percentile in hard-hit rate; and 78th percentile in expected wOBA. He hit the ball hard, and had some bad luck. The 2021 campaign, for him, will be about proving that his 2019 was no fluke.

These New York Mets’ players would receive more at-bats if there is a universal DH

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

The coronavirus crisis postponed the start of the MLB season, which was scheduled for March 26. The league and the players’ union are currently negotiating several things to return to play, and all of them concern the New York Mets.

One of them is particularly promising for the Mets’ lineup. According to Jon Heyman, cited by SNY, MLB is currently offering the union the option to implement a universal designated hitter spot for the 2020 season.

As you know, the American League plays with a DH and the National League doesn’t. The pitcher gets to hit in the old circuit, but if the changes go through, some New York Mets’ players stand to receive more at-bats in the upcoming season.

Heyman reports that the league’s proposal for the universal DH is expected to be easily approved, so if there is a season in 2020, it would seem like both leagues would have a designated hitter.

Great news for the Mets

For the New York Mets, that is fantastic news. While the current starting rotation’s depth suffered a huge blow with Noah Syndergaard’s Tommy John surgery, the lineup is, instead, crowded with usable options.

The Mets have a good offensive catcher in Wilson Ramos and a defensive wiz in Tomas Nido. They have Dominic Smith capable of playing first base, but blocked by Pete Alonso. There are lots of outfielders to spread around three spots, notably Brandon Nimmo, Jake Marisnick, Michael Conforto, Smith, Yoenis Cespedes and JD Davis. If the DH opens up, life could be easier for manager Luis Rojas.

There is also quite a logjam in the infield. If Jed Lowrie ever gets healthy, he is a very useful piece who can play second and third base, the same positions that Jeff McNeil can cover. Let’s remember that Lowrie was a 5.0 fWAR player the year before the New York Mets signed him. Robinson Cano’s contract and potent bat (if healthy) are also necessary in the lineup and a weekly start or two in the DH spot would help his legs.

Cespedes, Cano, and Smith are the most likely beneficiaries of the potential universal DH rule. The first two have suffered numerous lower-body injuries in recent months and Smith can find some extra at-bats given his path to playing time in first base is blocked.

New York Mets: J.D. Davis is OK after his return to the lineup

J.D. Davis, maybe the most improved member of the New York Mets‘ roster in 2019, spent over a week out of the lineup because of a jammed shoulder. He suffered the injury after diving for a ground ball in spring training play, and after a few days of rest and treatment, he was able to return to the lineup on Sunday.

To be fair, Davis was hitting bombs in batting practice a few days prior to his return to the lineup, so it would be accurate to say that the Mets’ slugger had a swift recovery. In Sunday’s game, he accumulated a couple of plate appearances.

While he conceded that it was “weird” to be back out there making plays in left field and having live game action after a few days of being out, he told Alyson Footer of MLB.com that he felt good afterward.

“It was OK — nothing achy, no stiffness,” Davis said. “I’ve been playing free the past couple of days, so no limitations.”
The exact date of his injury, deemed as a jammed left shoulder, was on February 25th against the Tigers. Before seeing his name on Sunday’s lineup, he had a day of tests on Saturday: he practiced his diving on the bases, ran on steal attempts and made regular moves to both sides, both as a third sacker and as a left fielder. Those are the positions that the Mets’ are hoping he can cover this season.

The Mets’ plans for the slugger

Davis will now rest on Monday, and he is slated to play against his former team, the Houston Astros, on Tuesday.

“It’s great to be back out there,” Davis said. “It was kind of weird being off the field for two weeks. Just getting back to the routine, getting to the weight room. Routine-wise, that was the big thing — it was kind of weird today. Other than that, it’s great to be back on the field.”

Now that the injury is in the rearview mirror, Davis is expected to be ready for the start of the season and be a part of the New York Mets’ opening day roster.

“We’ll see how he keeps responding as he keeps playing,” manager Luis Rojas said. “We want to keep ramping it up progressively as we move forward. He’ll be getting three at-bats in games as we move forward. He’ll play in back-to-back games just like everyone else started doing already.”