Brooks Raley of the Mets throws against the Milwaukee Brewers at...

Brooks Raley of the Mets throws against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on Sunday, March 31, 2024. Credit: Errol Anderson

CLEVELAND — Brooks Raley plans to have Tommy John surgery on his left elbow next week, a source told Newsday on Tuesday, ending his season and perhaps his Mets career.

That is a brutal blow for both Raley, who is 35 and had gotten off to another strong start, as well as the team, which brought him back this season as a primary late-inning arm and top lefthanded reliever.

Raley is due to be a free agent after this season.

“He gave everything he had,” manager Carlos Mendoza, confirming that Raley would have surgery, said after the Mets’ 7-6 loss to the Guardians. “He kept trying, he went for second opinions. He kept feeling something there. Now we’re going to go in there and see what’s going on.”

Raley had a 0.00 ERA in eight appearances before going on the injured list April 21 with what the Mets initially thought was left elbow inflammation. When he didn’t recover as quickly as expected, however, further imaging showed damage to the ulnar collateral ligament.

As they solicited additional opinions, Raley went to Texas to visit Dr. Keith Meister, a top orthopedic surgeon whom he had seen before. The Mets’ purported plan after that meeting last week: two more weeks of rest, then see what happens.

When he spoke to reporters on May 11, Raley was hesitant to come back at anything less than full strength, calling his injury “a little more complex” than a usual sprained ligament.

 

“For me and my skill set and what I do, my age doesn’t really matter to me,” he said. “It’s about being healthy. If I’m not the same player on the field, I don’t really bring a whole lot to the team . . . I’m trying to be that player.”

Without Raley, the Mets’ top bullpen lefty is Jake Diekman, who has a 3.86 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 20 games. They also have Josh Walker, who has had several stints in the majors. Another potential replacement, prospect Nate Lavender, had season-ending elbow surgery this month.

“It’s a big loss for us,” Mendoza said. “But it’ll be an opportunity for somebody else.”

Extra bases

Kodai Senga (right shoulder strain) played “light catch,” manager Carlos Mendoza said, his first act of throwing since being set back by tricep tightness over the weekend. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday . . . Drew Smith (right shoulder soreness) threw his first bullpen session since his own setback and is penciled in for a rehab assignment next week . . . SNY play-by-play man Gary Cohen made it back to Cleveland in plenty of time for first pitch after giving the commencement address at Seton Hall University’s graduation ceremony Tuesday.

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