A second opinion on Joey Lucchesi’s UCL confirmed what the Mets already suspected: This particular feel-good story will need to be put on pause until at least 2022.
A second MRI on the lefty’s elbow revealed a complete tear of his UCL, meaning Tommy John surgery this Thursday, Mets acting general manager Zack Scott said Tuesday. Lucchesi, who had a bumpy beginning to his season but became a welcome, effective surprise in his last five starts, originally went down with elbow inflammation. His injury means even more questions for a Mets rotation that, at least this week, will need to be cobbled together on a day-to-day basis.
"I think this is going to be a time of growth for him," Luis Rojas said of Lucchesi, who had put together a 1.19 ERA in his previous five starts and had just recently been allowed to pitch a third time through the order. "There are a lot of people who [went] through the same process that are on this team and that can give him a lot of advice to him about what to do throughout this time and how to face it and how to be better when he gets out of it. It’s going to be some time, it might seem long at one point, but the next thing you know, he’ll be back pitching for us, and he’ll be dealing like he was right before he got this prognosis . . . He’s in a good place facing this."
Conforto return delayed
After Scott said that the Mets would activate Michael Conforto (hamstring) after only three rehab starts — a result of him progressing quicker than expected — they held off, saying they didn’t activate Conforto because he was just in Syracuse, which is going through a COVID situation. The team said "he has tested negative tonight and the intention is for him to be activated prior to tomorrow’s game vs. Atlanta."
The Mets recalled catcher Patrick Mazeika from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned Brandon Drury. They also claimed righty Robert Stock off waivers from the Cubs and optioned him to Syracuse.
Robert Gsellman’s lat injury is actually a tear, and he’ll be shut down from throwing for at least six weeks, Scott said. Jeurys Familia’s injury (hip impingement) does not appear to be severe, though . . . Carlos Carrasco (hamstring) is still not throwing off the mound, though Scott described him as "progressing well." Scott said he could potentially still be on track for a late July return . . . J.D. Davis (hand) will begin a rehab assignment in a week or two, Scott said.
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