Kodai Senga update: Mets ace throws live BP, eyeing late May return

Kodai Senga Mets
Kodai Senga. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

QUEENS, N.Y. — New York Mets ace Kodai Senga threw a live batting practice session on Monday, facing hitters for the first time since going down with a strained shoulder during spring training. 

The 31-year-old right-hander threw 21 pitches and said that his fastball reached the “mid-90s.” He will throw another live batting practice on Friday after three days’ rest. 

“Everything is going well,” Senga said. “I was able to check my velo with hitters in there versus bullpens. I was able to get up to the mid-90s. I’m pretty happy with that…

“I feel great. Everything’s progressing well.”

Mets manager Carlos Mendoza was on hand to watch his ace throw, echoing those sentiments.

“We liked the way the ball was coming out,” Mendoza said. “There was no hesitation. He was just letting it loose and using all his pitches. Since he went down, the thing that I’ve been saying is how is he going to bounce back? The biggest thing is [how he feels] tomorrow and the following day.”

Kodai Senga Mets
Kodai Senga (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The Mets transferred Senga to the 60-day injured list on April 10 to open up another roster spot. He is eligible to be activated off the IL on May 27 and the hope is he will be on the mound at Citi Field shortly after.

“As long as things keep going well, I think I’ll be back right around then,” Senga said. 

At least two more live BPs are scheduled for Senga before talks of potential rehab starts with one of the club’s minor-league affiliates could begin.

“In terms of care, [I have made adjustments] a lot more than I had been doing,” Senga said. “Everything is feeling solid and I’m doing really well.”

With Senga still having not thrown a pitch this season and the Mets’ rotation also contending with injuries to David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and Max Kranick, the current cast of Sean Manaea, Luis Severino, Adrian Houser, Jose Quintana, and Jose Butto have struggled to find consistency. 

New York’s 4.19 ERA from starting pitching ranks 12th-worst in the majors while its 137.1 innings pitched is the fourth-fewest.

Getting Senga back in the fold later this month to lead the charge of recovering arms will certainly help.

“I think we’ve got the emergence of some depth that we thought we were going to have coming into the season and then took a hit right at the front end,” Mets president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “That’s a good feeling.”

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