Mets third baseman Brett Baty reacts after he lined out...

Mets third baseman Brett Baty reacts after he lined out against the Rockies during the fifth inning of an MLB game at Citi Field on Sunday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Brett Baty’s regular season appears to be over.

He will have surgery Thursday to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb, an injury that comes with “a typical return to play” timeline of five weeks, the Mets announced.

Mere weeks into his major-league career, Baty got hurt on Sunday when he dove at third base for what wound up being a foul ball. His throwing hand/thumb went hard into the ground, which “bent it back,” manager Buck Showalter said.

They didn’t initially realize the extent of the injury. Baty was available as a pinch runner on Tuesday, after the game describing his thumb as having been “jammed.” The Mets sent him for an MRI on Wednesday. Showalter said the Mets were comfortable with Baty fielding and throwing, so he was going to try swinging to see if he could play through it.

But the MRI showed a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which is better known as the part of the elbow that sometimes requires Tommy John surgery. Baty’s injury is not nearly as serious as that but nonetheless threatens the rest of his year. The regular season ends in five weeks.

Baty, 22, hit .184 with a .244 OBP and .342 slugging percentage in 11 games. His absence leaves Eduardo Escobar once again as the everyday third baseman, at least until Luis Guillorme returns from a strained left groin in a week or two.

Without Baty, the Mets had no backup infielder on the active roster Wednesday for their game against the Dodgers. They have another chance to promote one, if they want, on Thursday when rosters expand from 26 to 28.

 

To take Baty’s roster spot, they called up from Triple-A Syracuse outfielder Terrance Gore, who has served as something of a pinch-running specialist over parts of seven major-league seasons with the Royals, Cubs, Dodgers and Atlanta.  

Gore’s career numbers include 102 games, 67 at-bats, one RBI, 40 steals and three World Series rings.

The rehabbers

Tylor Megill (strained right shoulder) said he will begin a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Binghamton on Thursday. As he prepares to return as a reliever, he expects to get four or five appearances, stretching out to at least two innings.

Drew Smith (strained right lat) “is not far behind him,” Showalter said. And Guillorme will start a rehab assignment in the upper minors Sunday.  

Spring training fun

A twist in the Mets’ 2023 spring training schedule, revealed Wednesday: On March 8 and 9 they will play World Baseball Classic teams — to be announced — in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Their exhibition slate begins Feb. 25, with a home game against the Marlins and a road game against the Astros. They don’t play the Yankees or Red Sox.

Extra bases

David Peterson is in limbo, potentially available out of the bullpen starting Thursday but also maybe getting a start against the Nationals over the weekend, Showalter said. That depends mostly on whether the Mets want to give an extra day of rest to Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and the other starters . . . Showalter unsolicited offered praise for shortstop prospect Ronny Mauricio, who has hit 24 homers in 106 games for Binghamton (as a 21-year-old) . . . After apparently doing the math, Showalter said the Mets have faced an above-average number of lefthanded starters. “I’m wondering,” he said, “if sometimes it’s intentional or not."