Kodai Senga latest: Injured Mets ace preparing to face hitters

Kodai Senga Mets
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

New York Mets ace Kodai Senga emerged from his bullpen session on Wednesday with sights on taking another important step toward a long-anticipated 2024 season debut. 

Manager Carlos Mendoza is hopeful that the 31-year-old right-hander can begin facing batters “the next time he’s touching a mound.” A potential date for that outing is unknown as of Thursday, but initial forecasts suggest either Sunday or Monday

Senga has been sidelined since spring training after suffering a shoulder capsule strain that landed him on the 60-day injured list. 

He was initially eligible to come off the IL on May 27 but his rehab was paused last month due to nerve inflammation in his triceps, which kept him from throwing for a considerable period — something that did not sit well with the Japanese product still waiting to start his sophomore campaign in the majors.

“I think that I understand my body well and I think things could have gone better,” Senga said late last month. “I’m not overly surprised at where I am currently, I think I could have fixed some things… In order to get back to 100%, you have to hit each benchmark. You have to be at 100% each benchmark to get to the ultimate 100%.”

The Mets’ starting rotation has struggled overall without their ace. Their 4.50 ERA ranks 12th out of 15 teams in the National League and 24th overall in the majors. 

In his rookie season in 2023 after a decade in Japan, Senga went 12-8 with a 2.97 ERA and 202 strikeouts in 166.1 innings pitched. He earned an All-Star appearance, finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, and finished in the top 10 in the NL Cy Young race.

For more on Kodai Senga and the Mets, visit AMNY.com