New York Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman looks to be making promising progress toward a healthy return from a torn calf muscle suffered right before Opening Day last week.
Both Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and manager Luis Rojas confirmed that the team’s projected No. 2 starter while Noah Syndergaard recovers from Tommy John surgery is throwing bullpen sessions with little restrictions.
“He’s throwing. He’s throwing his side [sessions] full tilt in the 80-pitch range simulating like a game,” Rojas said. “As far as pitch counts, he’s done his work. He shared some of the limitations that he has because of the tear in his calf. That’s the assessment we’re gonna have with everyone, and we need to know on a week-to-week span. We’re waiting on the next report on where his status is at as far as his calf.”
Hefner provided some more insight, pointing at Stroman’s mobility and athleticism away from the actual act of pitching as a main hurdle.
“He’s throwing bullpens, he doesn’t really feel too much when he’s doing bullpens, just normal pitching stuff,” Hefner said. “It’s just the sprinting. As a pitcher you have to cover first base and run around the field a little bit and as soon as he does that, he’ll be with us as soon as possible.”
His return would bring quite a boost to the Mets’ rotation, which did see a majority of its rag-tag five-man rotation — Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Michael Wacha, and David Peterson — put in promising starts over the first turn.
The lone blemish was Rick Porcello Mets debut on Sunday when he allowed seven earned runs in just two-plus innings of work in a 14-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.
Stroman’s initial week-to-week designation was not necessarily lessened by Rojas or Hefner, but his return certainly does seem sooner rather than later. Especially when he told a fan on Twitter that he was “progressing quickly.” That would provide the Mets with much more flexibility to ensure they have the best possible rotation available for MLB’s shortened season.