New York Mets starting pitcher David Peterson (23) throws against...

New York Mets starting pitcher David Peterson (23) throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the second inning of a baseball game, Friday, April 22, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) Credit: Matt York

PHOENIX — For the first time since 2019, David Peterson is a minor-leaguer.

The Mets sent the lefthander to Triple-A Syracuse on Saturday for at least two reasons: They needed another pitcher, in this case righthander Adonis Medina, to help get through a bullpen game against the Diamondbacks. And they expect Taijuan Walker (right shoulder bursitis) back the next time that spot in the rotation comes up, so they considered Peterson’s fill-in assignment complete.

Peterson will be called up May 3 for the Mets’ doubleheader against Atlanta, manager Buck Showalter said. That is the first day he will be eligible to return after spending the requisite 10 days in the minors.

The demotion nonetheless was an unfortunate development for Peterson, who posted a 0.64 ERA in three games (14 innings). That included a strong start against the Diamondbacks — 5 2⁄3 innings, one run — on Friday.

“It’s not what I want. I want to be in this starting rotation,” Peterson said. “I want to be helping this team contribute every five days. That’s my goal. That’s what I’m going to continue to work at every single day and take one day at a time and prepare for my starts, wherever those are.

“I’m not going to say I’m happy going to Triple-A, but you know what? That’s the nature of the business. That’s the move that we had to make.”

Showalter added: “He’s earned the right to be back. I think he understands why we had to do it with today’s game. It’s never fun, especially when a guy is pitching as well as Pete is.”

 

When Peterson pitches for Syracuse on Wednesday or Thursday, it will be his first Triple-A game. He spent 2019 with Double-A Binghamton. In 2020, when the pandemic caused the cancellation of the minor-league season, he made the jump straight to the majors. He also was with the team for all of 2021 (but missed the second half with injuries).

“He knows he’s coming back,” Showalter said.

The Mets acquired Medina, 25, from the Pirates for cash on April 7. He made a pair of two-inning appearances for Syracuse and already was with the Mets in Arizona as a member of the taxi squad, and in his team debut, he struck out the side in the eighth inning of the Mets’ 5-2 loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

 “And he’s got a great first name,” Showalter said of Adonis.

Peterson understood the baseball logic.

“We need an extra arm for today, and obviously starting [on Friday], I don’t have any bullets,” he said. “That’s what it came down to, making a move that helps the team win today.”

Walker update

Walker is penciled in to return to the Mets on Friday or Saturday against the Phillies, Showalter said.

The Mets opted to have him pitch in a second non-majors outing, which will happen Monday. They haven’t decided if it’ll be a simulated game in St. Louis, where the Mets will be opening a series, or with a minor-league affiliate.

DeGrom update

Jacob deGrom had another round of imaging — including an MRI and a CT scan — on his right shoulder on Friday, Showalter said, adding that he didn’t have the results yet. That was three days earlier than planned and just three weeks after he was shut down with a right scapula stress reaction.

“They’re checking on the progress of the healing, which is a good sign,” Showalter said.

If deGrom has progressed enough, he will be cleared to begin throwing.