The New York Mets’ starting pitching depth will be tested from the jump, it appears.
Jose Quintana, who signed a two-year, $26 million deal to join the Mets this winter as a fourth or fifth option of the pitching staff was diagnosed with a small stress fracture on the fifth rib on the left side.
While there has been no official timetable set for his return, the 34-year-old left-hander already announced that he has withdrawn from participating in the 2023 World Baseball Classic with Colombia but hopes that he’ll be ready for the start of the MLB season.
Quintana enjoyed a bounceback season in 2022 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. After posting a 6.43 ERA in 2021, he went 6-7 with a 2.93 ERA with a 1.213 WHIP. His 0.4 home runs allowed per nine innings led the league — allowing just eight round-trippers in 165.2 innings pitched.
Suddenly, the No. 5 spot in the Mets rotation is there for the taking with just three weeks remaining until the start of the new campaign.
It’s great news for southpaw David Peterson, who filled in admirably in varying roles last season, is currently listed as day-to-day with a foot contusion after getting hit with a grounder over the weekend.
Across 28 appearances (19 starts) as both a starter and reliever, the 27-year-old was 7-5 with a 3.83 ERA. He was especially invaluable at the start of the season when he posted a 3.10 ERA over his first 11 appearances of the season with the likes of Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Tylor Megill all dealing with injury issues.
Yet heading into spring training, the Mets’ original plan for Peterson was to give him consistent work in Triple-A as a necessary pitching depth option should injuries strike.
“We did a good job in the offseason in terms of making moves that made this team better, and steps that we think are going to put us in a direction to achieve the goals we want to achieve,” Peterson last month (h/t Mike Puma, New York Post). “I can’t really worry about the decision-making. But I can focus on my work and make sure I’m ready for any opportunity that we get.”