Marcus Stroman’s calf injury is worse than originally described.
The New York Mets’ No. 2 starter has a torn calf, it was revealed on Wednesday. It’s a major discrepancy compared to manager Luis Rojas’ initial diagnosis, stating the right-hander was suffering from calf tightness and would be out on a day-to-day basis.
With a torn calf muscle, Stroman’s absence is now on a week-to-week basis — a sizable hole created in the Mets’ rotation less than two days before Opening Day on Friday evening at Citi Field against the Atlanta Braves.
Stroman was poised to assume the role of the Mets’ No. 2 starter behind two-time defending NL Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom after Noah Syndergaard underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery earlier this year. It was a golden opportunity for the 29-year-old to show his worth as a frontline starter considering 2020 is the final year before he becomes a free agent.
He has plenty to prove, too. After the Mets acquired him from the Toronto Blue Jays last July, Stroman was inconsistent with the Mets, posting a 3.77 ERA over 11 starts.
Now with just deGrom as the only proven starter left in the Mets’ ranks, Rick Porcello is elevated to the No. 2 role while Steven Matz and Michael Wacha are bumped up a spot as well.
For Porcello, the pressure is on for him to replicate anything near his 2016 form with the Boston Red Sox in which he won the AL Cy Young Award. Meanwhile, the hope is Wacha will recreate his early-career magic with the St. Louis Cardinals while Steven Matz has another chance to meet his potential as a marquee starter in Queens.
As for a fifth starter to add to the Mets’ rotation, Rojas’ options include David Peterson, Erasmo Ramirez, and Corey Oswalt.
Peterson has never appeared in an MLB game, Ramirez has spent recent years as a spot starter with the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays, and Oswalt has largely struggled with his rare outings with the Mets. In 19 career MLB appearances, Oswalt possesses a 6.43 ERA and a WHIP of 1.458.