This has been a so-so start to the season for the Boston Red Sox, and a bad one for the New York Mets. Part of the problem has been injuries to their starting pitchers, with the Red Sox dealing with Steven Wright’s knee problems, and the Mets once again facing a Noah Syndergaard absence.
Overall, pitching hasn’t been that big of an issue for the Red Sox (13-12), as they’ve given up just 98 runs through 25 games, 6th best in the majors. Their offense (only 95 runs) is a different story, finding it difficult in the post-David Ortiz era. But Wright himself has been a problem, following up his first All-Star season with a horrendous April, posting a 8.25 ERA through 5 starts in just 24 innings, allowing more home runs (9) than anyone in the majors. Maybe his knee injury isn’t such a big deal?
Happy about his absence and maybe an opportunity to reset before he’s pulled down to the minors, the Red Sox need to fill in for him, as his knee problems resurfaced. To fill his roster spot while he’s placed on the 10-day DL is Brandon Workman. David Price is out too, and right now it looks like it’ll come down to one of the three: Kyle Kendrick, Henry Owens or Brian Johnson, with the last two looking very good in Triple-A and more likely to get Wright’s spot, if and when they’re called up.
For the Mets, and not for the first time in the last few years, it’s not just one player. Syndergaard, with a partially torn lat muscle, joins Steven Matz and Steve Lugo on the DL, with the Mets expecting him to be out for at least two weeks, leaving them with a rotation of deGrom, Harvey, Wheeler and Gsellman, with Montero the one most likely to take Syndergaard’s spot.
Syndergaard’s injury puts another spotlight on the Mets’ fitness issue, although many believe his injury highlights a different issue altogether in baseball, and not just with the Mets way of handling injuries and pitcher workloads. With young pitchers looking to beat batters through speed and power instead of focusing on control, low-speed pitchers and durability, these injuries are not going away anytime soon, which spell trouble for the Mets and their relatively young pitching crew they’ve had such high hopes for.
Unlike Wright, Syndergaard has done well in his 5 starts for the Mets this season, posting a 3.29 ERA through 27.1 innings, including an FIP of 1.01 (best in the National League), still not giving up a single home run and posting a SO/BB ratio of 16.00.