Mets pitcher Kodai Senga looks on from the dugout against the...

Mets pitcher Kodai Senga looks on from the dugout against the Phillies at Citi Field on May 14. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Kodai Senga got a shot on Friday. But he’s not going to give the struggling Mets a shot in the arm anytime soon.

Manager Carlos Mendoza announced that Senga, who was supposed to throw an already delayed bullpen session on Friday, instead received a cortisone shot in his right triceps after reporting “something” during Thursday’s off day.

“He came in [Thursday] and he’s still feeling something on that triceps,” Mendoza said. “Today we said, ‘OK, we’ve got to take a look at this.’ So he got an MRI and it shows a little bit of inflammation of the nerve. So he’s getting a cortisone shot. He’s going to be shut down for three to five days and hopefully get him going again.”

Senga was first diagnosed with a strained right shoulder on Feb. 22. At that time, president of baseball operations David Stearns called the injury “moderate” but did not provide a timetable for Senga’s return.

That return still is nowhere in sight.

Senga graduated to facing live hitters in batting practice on April 29, but his progress stalled as he battled what he called a mechanical issue with his delivery.

Then, on Sunday, Senga experienced tightness in his triceps and called off a planned bullpen session. The Mets had hoped that session instead would take place on Friday. It did not, and now Senga is going to have to build back up before he’s cleared to step on a mound again.


“He’s going to have to play catch,” Mendoza said. “Whether it’s 90 [feet] or 120, long toss . . . before he gets back on the mound. But we’ve got to let the shot do the work before we can move on to our mound sessions and things like that.”

Mendoza called getting some clarity on Senga’s status “good news,” and given the state of the Mets going into their 10-game homestand, perhaps this qualifies.

“It’s one of those that the good thing is we were able to take a look at not only the shoulder today, but the elbow, the whole thing, just to make sure we’re not missing anything,” Mendoza said. “Good news is it’s just inflammation. Getting this shot and hopefully he can get going from here. One of those that we knew from the beginning, he was going to take time, and here we are dealing with it.”

Heading into Friday’s game against the Giants, the Mets had lost three in a row, five of six and eight of 10 and were a season-worst seven games under .500 at 21-28.

Senga emerged as the Mets’ ace in 2023, going 12-7 with a 2.98 ERA in 29 starts as a rookie. He had 202 strikeouts in 166 1⁄3 innings.

Positive injury updates

The Mets did get some verifiably good news on another injured player, Francisco Alvarez, who is expected to take batting practice on Saturday for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb on April 23.

The Mets are hoping for a mid-June return for their power-hitting catcher.

“I don’t know exactly when [I’ll be back],” Alvarez said. “When everything feels 100%, I’ll come back to play. Right now I’m going to take BP tomorrow and maybe hit off a machine a couple days after. Let’s see how it’s going after.”

Reliever Drew Smith, who has been out with shoulder soreness, is scheduled to throw an inning for Class A Brooklyn on Sunday. This is Smith’s second stab at a rehab assignment. His first was shut down last week when the soreness flared up.


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