ATLANTA — Don’t expect to see the Mets’ best pitcher for another long while.

They moved Kodai Senga to the 60-day injured list Wednesday afternoon, before their game against Atlanta was rained out. He is not eligible to return until May 27.

That makes official what had long been possible, that Senga will miss at least the first two months of the season. Manager Carlos Mendoza framed the move as a technicality — they needed to open a spot on the 40-man roster — and not indicative of anything further wrong with Senga and his strained right shoulder.

“Not a setback, nothing wrong with him,” Mendoza said. “We knew it was going to take some time. With him still throwing [on] flat ground and things like that — he hasn’t even gotten on the mound — it’s going to be a few weeks before we see him.”

Specifically, it’ll be another six-plus weeks at minimum. But the Mets are comfortable with that, as evidenced by their conservative approach to his rehabilitation.

Wary of Senga’s history of arm problems when he pitched in Japan, they have played it safe with this injury, including extending his initial shutdown period well beyond the original estimate. Since resuming throwing more than two weeks ago, he has advanced to throwing his offspeed pitches at light intensity.

All of that underscores what the Mets have said since he was diagnosed with a strain of the posterior capsule in the back of his shoulder in late February: No rush.

“From the beginning, we knew it was going to take time,” Mendoza said. “We’ve been slow playing it from the beginning. We took that extra couple of weeks before he started playing catch in spring training. There’s nothing new to it. It was more where we’re at, where he’s at. Everything stays the same.”

Postponed, apparently

Atlanta’s decision to postpone the third installment of the scheduled four-game series caught the Mets by surprise. The announcement came three hours before first pitch, a rare degree of proactiveness from a club that frequently deals with wet weather during home games.

They scheduled a makeup for Sept. 26.

It began to rain lightly at Truist Park at 7:20 p.m., when the game was supposed to begin. There was a chance of continued precipitation on and off over the next few hours.

Both teams took batting practice on the field after the postponement. Several Mets said that was the first time they could remember doing or seeing that.

“It better pour,” one veteran player, miffed at the postponement, said.

The de facto off day benefited both teams by virtue of rest for their pitchers. For the Mets’ bullpen specifically, it was something of a reset after a stressful week. For the starters, this allowed an extra day of rest amid what had been a two-week stretch without any days off.

The pitching matchup will carry over to the 12:20 p.m. Thursday series finale: lefthander Jose Quintana versus righthander Allan Winans, who is getting the first crack at filling in for Spencer Strider (who might need Tommy John surgery).

A winding road

The Senga transaction made room on the 40-man roster for reliever Tyler Jay, a lefthander who turns 30 next week and was called up to the majors for the first time. The Mets also sent righthander Dedniel Nunez, who was promoted and made his debut Tuesday, back to Triple-A Syracuse.

Jay’s path has been a winding one. Selected by the Twins sixth overall in the draft in 2015, he didn’t pitch in affiliated baseball for almost four years, from 2020-23, until the Mets signed him last August.

He had been pitching for the Joliet Slammers in the independent Frontier League. Upon getting picked up by the Mets, he joined Syracuse, his first time reaching Triple-A.

Now he is in the majors as part of the Mets’ early-season roster churn. They bounced from Julio Teheran to Nunez to Jay on consecutive days this week (with all of them using the same cubby in the visitors’ clubhouse).

Jay was not in major-league spring training, but he did get called over from the minor-league side to pitch in four games. He tossed five hitless, scoreless innings.

“What a great story,” Mendoza said. “It’s another example that nothing is easy in life. He’s been through a lot.”


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