The Mets knew they would be placing Neil Walker on the disabled list Thursday after he went down in a heap with a pulled left hamstring while running to first base Wednesday night. And so they did. Walker hopes to miss only a month with what an MRI confirmed is a partial tear.
“That’s pretty good news to me,” Walker said Thursday, proving that good and bad news is a relative condition.
The Mets were not expecting to have to place Matt Harvey on the disabled list after he left Wednesday’s four-inning start with a tired arm and an 87-mph fastball. But an MRI and CT scan showed Harvey has a stress injury to the scapula bone in his right shoulder. Harvey had a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection and will rest. There is no immediate timetable for the former ace’s return.
The Mets did not place Harvey on the DL immediately. General manager Sandy Alderson explained they “weren’t expecting to have two players on the DL today,” so the Mets did not fly in a pitcher from Triple-A Las Vegas. They will make the move Friday.
The Mets, incredibly, suffered another major injury during Thursday night’s game. Centerfielder Juan Lagares suffered a fractured joint in his left thumb attempting to make a diving catch in the fifth inning. He was replaced by pinch hitter Curtis Granderson in the bottom of the fifth.
“I didn’t think it was anything,” manager Terry Collins said after the Mets’ 8-3 loss to the Nationals. “Then (trainer Ray Ramirez) said, ‘It’s broke.’ I said, ‘Yeah. I’m not surprised.’ ”
Harvey, who did not speak to reporters Thursday, had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last July. Alderson said there is no indication the scapula issue is related to that surgery.
“I can’t tell you how (the injury) came about,” Alderson said. “It is something that just came up. This is not something that we’ve been monitoring or has come up in his history. So this is something new.”
According to WebMD, the scapula (or shoulder blade) “is a bony structure found on the upper back that connects the upper arm to the chest wall.”
Alderson described the injury as “sort of in that niche between fracture and bruise.”
After allowing four runs on three home runs in four innings against the Cubs, Harvey is 4-3 with a 5.25 ERA in 13 starts. He was downcast after the game (which the Mets came back to win), saying of his once-golden right arm: “My arm was just not working at all.”
Asked what he thought the Mets could expect from Harvey the rest of this season, Alderson said: “I can’t speculate about that. All I can say is that the amount of time we expect he will be out is measured in weeks and not months, so not sure exactly where we will end up . . . I think it’s difficult to speculate on how much we can get from him the rest of the season.”
Harvey’s fastball velocity Wednesday dropped from 94 mph on the first pitch of the game to 87 in his final inning. He said he felt “fatigue” and “discomfort,” but not pain.
Alderson said the Mets plan to stay with a six-man rotation for at least one more turn. Manager Terry Collins said the pitcher who starts in Harvey’s place has not been determined.
Infielder Gavin Cecchini was recalled from Las Vegas to replace Walker on the roster. Collins said T.J. Rivera will get the first crack at second base, with Wilmer Flores remaining at third base.