Mets righthander Jeremy Hefner has decided to have Tommy John surgery that likely will sideline him until the 2015 season, a source said Monday. No date has been set for the procedure, which was expected after doctors found a small tear in the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow.
The news comes on the heels of the strong possibility that rising ace Matt Harvey also will require surgery that will wipe him out for all of next season.
Hefner was 4-8 with a 4.35 ERA in 24 games. He was 3-1 with a 1.76 ERA in eight starts going into the All-Star break but struggled in his first five second-half starts, going 0-2 with a 9.13 ERA as his elbow injury worsened.
His absence will further test the depth of the Mets' starting rotation, both immediately and going into next season.
Lefthander Jon Niese is expected to be part of next season's starting rotation along with righthander Dillon Gee and 23-year-old phenom Zack Wheeler. Righthander Jenrry Mejia is expected to be healthy after surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow. With the exception of Wheeler, each of those pitchers has missed time because of injury within the past year.