PHILADELPHIA — One of Brodie Van Wagenen’s biggest disasters as Mets general manager has come to its inevitable conclusion.
Jed Lowrie will not play this season, which ends next weekend, because of left knee problems that have bothered him for more than 18 months, sources familiar with the situation acknowledged Wednesday.
Further, Lowrie has not been reporting to a team facility, instead retreating to his offseason home in Houston, a source added. He has not been able to do baseball activities while receiving a series of platelet-rich plasma and stem cell injections in his left knee.
In two seasons with the team, he went 0-for-7 and never played the field.
The Mets have not provided an update on Lowrie in more than a month, when they mentioned the injections. On Wednesday, for the second time in as many weeks, manager Luis Rojas said he didn’t have any information.
"I have no idea right now what his progression is," Rojas said.
That club officials have refused to say publicly that he is out for the year or offer any sort of update is the latest — and maybe last — twist in this bizarre injury saga, which has featured virtually zero transparency from the player and organization, plus occasions when Lowrie and his bosses seemed not to be on the same page.
Lowrie’s trouble started shortly after he signed a two-year, $20 million deal with the Mets in January 2019.
A longtime client of former agent Van Wagenen, his fellow Stanford alumnus, Lowrie’s knee problem became public shortly after the start of spring training 2019, when the Mets said it was sore — and Lowrie said he experienced "a fair bit of pain." They said they were sending him for an MRI and weren’t too worried about it. Hamstring, calf and hip issues followed.
The Mets had him participate in nine games in September, though considering he was never close to game-ready this year, it is not clear that he was actually healthy enough to be an active player.
In interviews this February and July, Lowrie was evasive about his injury, declining to discuss symptoms, his pain tolerance or any semblance of a plan. Mets officials insisted they believed he would be able to play, though they wouldn’t name the injury.
The team finally offered a diagnosis in late July: posterior cruciate ligament laxity, which meant some of the connective tissue in his left knee was too loose. A few days later, 17 months after the initial injury, the Mets sent him for a second opinion. In mid-August, the club announced that he would receive the injections.
Matz on the mound?
Steven Matz might make a start this weekend against the Braves, Rojas said, and thus was not available out of the bullpen Wednesday.
"We don’t have the date," Rojas said. "There’s a possibility."
Mark your calendars
Hope is springing eternal a little quicker this year.
The Mets revealed 2021 spring training report dates Tuesday, months earlier than normal: Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 17, followed by position players Feb. 22.
The first exhibition game Feb. 27 against the Marlins in Port St. Lucie. Among their other home games: Yankees (March 14) and Red Sox (March 25). The exhibition schedule ends March 28 at Marlins.
When might Dellin Betances (tight right lat) be back? "The timeline, we don’t know yet. It’s uncertain," Rojas said. He has been throwing at the alternate training site in Brooklyn . . . Pete Alonso was out of the lineup as the Mets try to get him to be consistent at the plate. "We all know how much of a hard-worker he is," Rojas said. "That’s the part that us as coaches, we gotta step in and make sure that we simplify things for him, can modify also the workload that he’s put in and he’s not overdoing things. Because it could get to that point."
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.